T&D World Magazine

GridPoint to Provide Solutions for KCP&L's Smart Grid Demonstration Project

GridPoint, Inc. will provide home energy management, load management and electric vehicle management software solutions for KCP&L’s Green Impact Zone SmartGrid Demonstration in Kansas City, Missouri. The project is the recipient of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. GridPoint worked with the utility to draft the proposal, which is part of $620 million allocated by the U.S. Department of Energy in support of smart grid demonstration projects.

KCP&L’s project will integrate with a wider urban revitalization effort, the Green Impact Zone, providing it with a modern energy infrastructure. Working with the city of Kansas City, Green Impact Zone participants and its solution partners, KCP&L will deploy an end-to-end smart grid that will include advanced generation, distribution and customer technologies and solutions to the demonstration area’s electrical infrastructure.

The project will provide area businesses and residents with enhanced reliability and efficiency through useful information about electricity supply, demand and prices and help them to manage their electricity use and save money. GridPoint’s home energy management solution will engage KCP&L customers in an ongoing conversation, providing tools to automate and easily control the heating, cooling and operation of smart devices within their homes. Customers will receive GridPoint’s consumer portal, which will provide a visually compelling, comprehensive picture of energy usage and real-time data about pricing, enabling them to automatically schedule time-of-day and device-specific commands.

KCP&L will also demonstrate how real-time grid conditions and driver needs can be balanced to intelligently charge plug-in electric vehicles. GridPoint’s smart charging software manages the flow of electricity to both vehicles and charging infrastructure. During periods of high demand, it can be delayed or slowed – minimizing grid stress and ensuring service reliability. When wind or solar power is available, the charging rate can be increased to expand the use of renewable energy in the grid. Smart charging also allows electric cars to be employed in the cost-effective delivery of ancillary services.

In addition, KCP&L will use GridPoint’s load management solution -- featuring sophisticated prediction algorithms, automated scheduling and advanced measurement and verification tools -- to manage peak demand and shape load to ensure system reliability, avoid peak energy prices and defer investments in new power plants.

“GridPoint will allow us to provide visibility and control to our customers and at the same time help us increase the efficiency and reliability of the grid, reduce costs and prepare for the arrival of new technologies such as plug-in vehicles,” said Ed Matthews, director, Smart Grid, KCP&L.

GridPoint is working with utilities nationwide including Austin Energy, Duke Energy, Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Xcel Energy.

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