At its best, the smart grid interweaves diverse technologies to form a seamless whole, like a tightly woven piece of cloth. As the grid modernizes, Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) is using its Smart Grid Demonstration Project to show how distribution systems such as advanced metering infrastructure, distribution management, outage management, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) can interoperate to improve reliability and cost of service.
The project, called the Green Impact Zone SmartGrid Demonstration, was awarded nearly $24 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, for a total project value of $49.8 million, to demonstrate, test, and assess the feasibility of integrating new and existing technologies in an end-to-end smart grid. KCP&L deployed smart grid technologies across a 5-square-mile area of Kansas City, Mo., serving 13,427 customers. Several major aspects of the project included the modernization of a distribution substation, the implementation of several new systems to prevent and shorten outages, and the installation of devices in customers' homes to help them control their energy use.