For most of us, energy reliability is an expectation, whether we’re flipping a light switch, watching television or riding out a thunderstorm. But behind this seemingly simple event are complex processes and infrastructure. And keeping that infrastructure up to date is critical to ensuring energy reliability and affordability.
That’s the objective of Honeywell’s new smart grid project with Connexus Energy, Minnesota’s largest customer-owned electric cooperative. The $15 million project includes deploying advanced smart grid technology to improve energy service and reliability while also helping the utility’s 130,000 members better manage their energy consumption. Under the project, Honeywell will install more than 138,000 of its EnergyAxis® connected meters and its new SynergyNet™ mesh networking platform.
Along with reliable energy delivery, the resulting fully integrated system will provide Connexus Energy customers with real-time data insights into their energy consumption so they can better manage their usage. Behind the scenes, the system will automate meter reading and deliver Connexus Energy with real-time data on customer energy consumption for more accurate billing, along with the ability to detect meter tampering and outages for faster recovery and restoration.
The system will also provide two-way connectivity for additional energy management measures, giving the utility more options for future efforts, like demand response programs and time-of-use pricing.
“Our mission is simple: keep the lights on for our members by providing electricity in the most cost-effective, reliable and environmentally responsible manner,” said Greg Ridderbusch, chief executive officer of Connexus Energy. “Honeywell’s smart grid technology will help us continue to meet these goals while providing a path for greater efficiencies and innovations in how we deliver electricity to one of Minnesota’s fastest-growing corridors — and how customers use it.”
“Together, Honeywell and customers like Connexus Energy are fundamentally changing the way the world and our communities manage and use energy,” said Rob Tupker, president of Smart Energy, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies. “This smart grid project supports the utility’s priority of sound energy management and delivery, while preparing the cooperative to take advantage of future opportunities and innovations to drive deeper savings for customers.”
Connexus Energy’s service territory spans seven counties and covers 1,000 square miles in the northern part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. Honeywell will complete the project by 2018.