GAHANNA, Ohio, Nov. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- AEP Ohio, a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), has filed a proposal with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) to extend its current Electric Security Plan (ESP), with modifications, through May 2024. The ESP would otherwise expire in May 2018. The proposal would continue AEP Ohio's investments to improve customer service and reliability including proactive replacement of aging equipment and aggressive tree trimming and vegetation management programs to reduce outages. AEP Ohio also will invest in a new communications system to speed dispatching of crews and restoration of service when outages occur and security enhancements to better protect distribution substations from vandalism and physical attacks. The plan also will add new, smart technologies to AEP Ohio's energy distribution network including microgrids to supply uninterrupted power to critical public safety infrastructure, electric vehicle charging stations and smart street lighting systems to support the Smart Columbus effort in Franklin and 10 surrounding counties. "AEP Ohio is focusing on making investments that enhance the reliability and quality of service that we provide to our customers. This proposal will allow us to continue programs that have improved the reliability of our service in recent years and introduce new, smarter energy technologies on our system that help the system operate more efficiently and effectively," said Julie Sloat, AEP Ohio president and chief operating officer. "It also gives us a way to invest in renewable generation that will bring clean energy, jobs and support economic development in Ohio." The modified ESP includes a mechanism to support recovery of future renewable generation investments made to benefit AEP Ohio customers as well as costs associated with AEP Ohio's 423 megawatt contractual share of Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) generation. AEP Ohio has committed to developing 900 megawatts of new renewable generation in the state, including 500 megawatts of wind generation and 400 megawatts of solar generation, contingent on PUCO approval.