Smart Grid Demonstration Project

Client: Kansas City Power & Light
Completion Date: 2015
Location: Kansas City, Missouri


Our team provided design, configuration, implementation and documentation services for Kansas City Power & Light’s (KCPL) Smart Grid Demonstration Project. The effort is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and includes significant infrastructure upgrades to the Midtown substation, creation of a wireless mesh distribution automation network, smart meter deployment to approximately 14,000 KCPL customers in the demonstration region, and deployment and integration of eight new back-end systems.


  • Project management and reporting
  • Requirements development
  • Design documentation
  • System integration
  • Network and system connectivity documentation
  • Test case development and execution


This is a broad-scoped effort touching most major components of the distribution network and operations. It incorporates eight new systems from six vendors with seven legacy KCPL systems, and it implements and interconnects these systems according to emerging industry standards to demonstrate their viability and assess their benefits. Distribution grid management incorporates IEC 61850 for the Midtown substation automation, DNP3 for the distribution automation, and IEC 61968-9 for the common information model (CIM) interface to advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). AMI consists of a proprietary wireless mesh network connecting each deployed smart meter across the demonstration region. Each smart meter contains a ZigBee Smart Energy 1.X radio enabling home area networks and devices.

A distribution management system (DMS) interfaces with intelligent electronic devices both inside the substation and on the distribution feeders. The DMS monitors and controls the statuses of these devices and uses them to perform a variety of distribution automation (DA) functions, including fault location and isolation, feeder restoration and volt/VAR management. A home energy management portal (HEMP) interfaces with a distributed energy resource management (DERM) system to give both customers and the utility access to detailed energy usage information and configure preferences for demand response (DR) events.

Additionally, a DERM issues DR events to home area network (HAN) devices, a 1MW/1MWh lithium polymer battery and the vehicle charge management system. It selects resources for events based on financial and scheduling constraints.


Our project responsibilities included:

  • IEC 61850 design, configuration and implementation
  • Distribution automation field area network configuration and implementation
  • Smart grid use cases/UML data modeling
  • Data metrics and analytics
  • Cybersecurity assessment, design and implementation
  • Grid-scale (1MW) energy storage configuration and implementation
  • Distribution management system configuration and implementation
  • Distributed energy resource management system configuration and implementation
  • ZigBee smart energy/home area network design and implementation
  • Pilot DSM program design and implementation with TOU rate design

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Lucas McIntosh Project Manager 816-823-6214
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