Backed with $75 million in US Department of Energy smart grid demonstration grants, American Electric Power is starting a first in the country large-scale distributed battery storage project.

The project will bring smart energy systems to about 110,000 AEP customers in Ohio. Part of the project is the installation of 25-kilowatt lithium-ion neighborhood batteries to reduce strain from peak power load demands.

Detroit Edison will make similar installations near Detroit. The development of smart grid technology is essential to making progress toward distributed power and clean energy independence.