T&D World Magazine

KCP&L Selects End-to-End Energy Management System for Smart Grid Project

KCP&L has selected an end-to-end energy management and consumer engagement solution for a four-year-long Smart Grid Demonstration Project. Rollout of the project to 14,000 homes and businesses served by KCP&L will begin soon.

The solution from Tendril will provide home energy management devices such as in-home displays, load control switches, smart thermostats and appliances, as well as capabilities to support emerging technology such as electric vehicle recharging and distributed generation. The Tendril platform helps customers gain insight and control over their energy use by using products and applications that communicate directly with KCP&L’s existing infrastructure, and subsequently provide customers with the information they need to make good energy management choices day to day. The platform also allows the utility to better understand customer energy usage patterns and better manage load to avoid major service interruptions.

“One of the main goals of the project is to demonstrate how consumers can assist the utility in energy conservation,” said Tendril CEO Adrian Tuck. “The key is creating an awareness of behavior around energy efficiency and promoting active engagement.”

The project will deliver two levels of technology to participants:

All customers will have access to Tendril Tracker, an energy management portal that presents historical energy usage data aimed at educating customers on their energy usage patterns. It will also provide community comparison features so that consumers can compare their usage to other KCP&L customers with a similar profile, as well as receive recommendations on energy saving behaviors and choices.

Customers can also elect to receive, in addition to the energy management portal, the following:

  • Tendril Insight: An in-home display that records energy use and displays near real-time feedback and forecasted bill information on energy consumption and cost
  • Tendril Set Point: A smart thermostat that can be programmed manually or remotely via the Internet
  • Tendril Volt: A smart outlet for device control and monitoring
  • Optional control capability for ZigBee-compliant third-party devices

Additional elements include:

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)/Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) charging stations – The Tendril Electric Vehicle application, an Internet delivered software interface will assist consumers and the utility in managing the recharge activities of EVs both in the home and in public charging stations.

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