DP&L opens $20 million ‘smart’ operations center

Dayton Power & Light's MacGregor Park headquarters campus in Dayton. Contributed

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Dayton Power & Light's MacGregor Park headquarters campus in Dayton. Contributed

Dayton Power & Light Co. Thursday opened what it called its “Smart Operations Center” at its MacGregor Park headquarters campus, celebrating a facility it says is the first of its kind in the nation.

The facility will use data analytics and modeling to increase the efficiency of AES Corp. electric operations. Its opening will involve the eventual creation of 31 new jobs for DP&L.

“The facility represents AES' longstanding commitment to the digital transformation of the energy industry, accelerating a safer and cleaner energy future in the United States and globally,” DP&L said in an announcement Thursday, referring to its corporate parent, Virginia-based AES. “The center also demonstrates AES' investment in the State of Ohio and its people.”

The $20 million center was celebrated in a event streamed to invited viewers Thursday.

The two-story building is being refurbished now and about two-thirds of the building should be complete by the end of 2020, with some operations starting in mid-December. The building should be complete by the end of March 2021.

“The transition to a cleaner, more efficient energy future depends in large part on the adoption of digital technology,” Bernerd Da Santos, AES executive vice president and chief operating officer, said in a release. “The new AES Smart Center will tap into the power of data and digital platforms, allowing us to monitor, remotely operate and improve the management of our power generation operations, including solar, wind, hydro, thermal and energy storage facilities.”

“AES' decision to stand up their smart operations center in Dayton is a testament to the region’s skilled workforce and Ohio’s robust innovation ecosystem,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and chief executive.

The new center “positions the city for a new generation of economic growth,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

Mark Miller, AES chief operating, officer said the center’s intent is to secure and share information that boosts efficiency.

The company’s transmission and distribution operations center in Moraine will continue to operate as before. a spokeswoman said.

DP&L, serving a 24-county area with 1.25 million residents in west Central Ohio, has more than 600 employees. The company has more than 500,000 customer accounts.

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