Westar Energy, Inc. has selected Elster for its 48,000 meter SmartStar deployment.
The Elster EnergyAxis Smart Grid solution will enable Westar to conduct real-time monitoring of its electricity grid, allowing the utility to provide customers with additional insight into their daily energy consumption, improve service reliability and more quickly manage power outages.
Westar selected Elster's EnergyAxis after a thorough technical evaluation of several smart grid solutions. EnergyAxis will be a key component of Westar's SmartStar project, a 48,000 smart meter deployment in Lawrence, Kansas, that is expected to be completed over the next three years. SmartStar Lawrence will enable Westar to modernize its grid and technology infrastructure for improved energy distribution and demand response.
With EnergyAxis, Westar will be able to more easily integrate renewable energy, electric vehicles and other emerging technologies onto its grid. For consumers, Westar plans to offer a suite of innovative products and services that will offer choices that can help reduce energy costs.
Along with near real-time information available on the web, Westar also will offer convenience options such as text or email alerts for customer-determined energy use parameters. In addition, EnergyAxis provides Westar and its customers with service delivery improvements through automated meter reading and other field service automation to save time and use employees more efficiently.
To help fund the SmartStar Lawrence Smart Grid project, Westar was awarded a $19 million Department of Energy (DOE) Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG). During the award submission process, Elster relied on its history with Westar and knowledge of the utility's infrastructure to help Westar respond to complex security and technology questions related to the SmartStar project.