Westar Energy, Inc. Smart Grid Project

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Westar Energy, Inc., located in Topeka, Kansas, will receive $19 million in funding to develop a smarter energy grid. The U.S. Department of Energy selected Westar Energy as one of 100 companies to receive federal stimulus funds as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[2]

Westar Energy’s SmartStar Lawrence project deploys advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), meter data management system (MDMS), and distribution automation equipment. AMI and MDMS systems are expected to reduce operating costs, improve reliability, and enhance customer services by improving enterprise systems, including billing, outage management, and load research. The AMI and MDMS also support a customer Web portal that provides energy usage and billing information for customers. Distribution automation assets include automated reclosers, capacitor automation equipment, and fault indicators to speed up restoration of service following outages and reduce energy losses through improved management of circuit voltages.[3]

Equipment

  • 45,000 Smart Meters
  • AMI Communication Systems
  • Meter Communications Network
  • Backhaul Communications
  • Meter Data Management System
  • Customer Web Portal
  • Distribution Automation Equipment for 15 out of 1,338 Circuits
  • Distribution Management System
  • SCADA Communications Network
  • Automated Distribution Circuit Switches
  • Automated Capacitors

Targeted Benefits

  • Reduced Meter Reading Costs
  • Reduced Operating and Maintenance Costs
  • Reduced Electricity Costs for Customers
  • Improved Electric Service Reliability and Power Quality
  • Reduced Costs from Equipment Failures, Distribution Line Losses, and Theft
  • Reduced Truck Fleet Fuel Usage
  • Reduced Greenhouse Gas and Criteria Pollutant Emissions

References

  1. ARRA Smart Grid Investment Grants
  2. 2.0 2.1 Westar Energy Award
  3. Project Information Page