AEP Ohio puts forth a data center power grid resource plan

May 14, 2024
The proposal will require data center providers to abide by power requirements before power utilities extend service to their sites.

As data center providers look to build out new sites, unprecedented demands on the power grid are being created. 

A recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report forecast that data centers’ total electricity consumption could reach more than 1,000 TWh in 2026.

However, AEP Ohio is not waiting for the problem to escalate. They are taking a proactive stance to address the issue.

The electric utility filed a proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio in docket 24-508-EL-ATA that would create a new rate category for data center customers and cryptocurrency mining/mobile data center operations.

Under the proposed rate structure, new data centers with loads greater than 25 megawatts (MW) and cryptocurrency mining operations/mobile data centers with loads greater than 1 MW would have to agree to meet specific requirements. This ensures that the right facilities are built at the right time, benefiting both AEP Ohio and the data center customers.

Marc Reitter, president and chief operating officer of AEP Ohio, said, “AEP Ohio is seeing unprecedented demand from data center customers, especially in the Central Ohio area.”

He emphasized that the structure will provide certainty to AEP Ohio and its customers, who need to develop long-term plans and offer data center and cryptocurrency mining customers a clear understanding of their obligations as customers.

“While we see no concerns serving current or new residential and existing commercial or industrial customers, we need to ensure that the right long-term investments are made to the electric grid," Reitter said. "We need accurate plans and solid commitments from large data center customers so the right facilities are built at the right time. This will help us keep Ohio open for business for all industries while making sure customers aren't paying for unused infrastructure."

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