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AEP Launches Effort to Innovate in Four Operational Areas

American Electric Power and innovation specialist L Marks launched IlluminationLAB, which  is an initiative designed to identify innovative technology solutions to drive improved performance and enhance customer experiences in the energy industry.

The concept is intended to help AEP find new technologies and innovative ideas focused in four areas :  customer experience; grid optimization; efficiency, operations and maintenance; and electric mobility/electrification.

L Marks will help AEP identify promising entrepreneurs and early- and growth-stage companies in the energy sector to apply to participate in the IlluminationLAB program.

If selected for the IlluminationLAB, tech startups will work directly with an AEP mentor and industry experts for 10 weeks to help advance and shape their idea or technology. They will be given access to working space, potential funding and the chance to develop products, platforms and processes that will help AEP expand its technology-driven offerings and processes. In addition, the startups will have the opportunity to further develop their companies alongside leading subject matter experts in the energy sector.

AEP’s IlluminationLAB will focus on four key themes, but will consider other creative proposals that don’t fit one of the themes:

Customer Experience: AEP said it is seeking ways to better understand consumer behavior and to provide more proactive, personalized communications that will give customers the information they need to make informed energy decisions.

Grid Optimization: AEP is seeking new technologies to enhance management and utilization of its energy production and delivery infrastructure, address potential impacts of customers who generate and control their own electricity, and to inexpensively control and shift energy peaks locally, rather than across the entire grid.

Efficiency, Operations and Maintenance: AEP is seeking opportunities to improve efficiency by digitizing traditional processes and also aggregating data from customers, infrastructure and facilities. AEP also is looking for solutions that can provide enhanced and new data from its systems to help inform decisions and investments.

Electric Mobility/Electrification: AEP is seeking technology innovations that will help increase the adoption of electric mobility and reduce the costs for the infrastructure needed to support adoption.

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, serves nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of generating capacity.  L Marks is a leading advisor in applied innovation and experienced investor in early-stage technologies.

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