NorthWestern Energy, one of the largest providers of electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, has selected a Cloud platform for its Smart Grid Demonstration Grant Project. Tendril Energize and Tendril Connect will be deployed to deliver consumer engagement and enable energy usage behavioral changes, and to provide demand response (DR) and load control benefits to NorthWestern Energy.

NorthWestern Energy will launch this summer with select customers in urban and rural parts of Montana, with Tendril’s deployment focused in Helena. These volunteers will use the Tendril Energize consumer engagement application suite — which includes a web portal and mobile apps for the iPhone and Android — as well as in-home smart devices all built upon the Tendril Connect platform for real-time energy consumption information and usage control tools.

This deployment is part of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, a $178 million program funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to test new technologies and advanced analytical tools for the Smart Grid. NorthWestern Energy’s portion will specifically test distribution automation (DA) and conservation voltage reduction (CVR), as well as energy savings associated with DR and load control. The project will also measure the impact of providing customers with new and innovative ways to control their energy consumption, and produce useful insight into customer acceptance and usage behavioral changes.

NorthWestern Energy will deploy Tendril Connect, an open standards-based, scalable, secure software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology solution. The platform enables energy insight, choice and control across various communication channels to customers, including web, mobile, paper and home area network devices, and advanced application development for future programs such as solar, smart appliances and electric vehicles. As well, Tendril Energize, an application suite built on Tendril Connect, will be used to deliver simple, easy-to-use tools to engage customers in energy efficiency and accelerate consumer participation in new programs, pricing and active home energy management. This includes iPhone and Android applications. Tendril will also be providing installation management and training, project management and marketing services to NorthWestern Energy.

Itron and Lockheed Martin are partnering with Tendril on the NorthWestern Energy Smart Grid project. Lockheed Martin’s SEEsuite Smart Grid Command and Control platform will provide demand response management and integrated situational awareness, and Itron is supplying its CENTRON R300 advanced residential meters and Tendril-sourced Home Area Network (HAN) equipment of smart thermostats and in-home display products.

The Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project (PNW-SGDP) is a collaborative, five-year test of new technologies and advanced analytical tools that will demonstrate the potential for a safe, scalable and interoperable Smart Grid for regulated and non-regulated utilities. The PNW-SGDP involves the Bonneville Power Administration, five technology partners, 11 utilities across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, and the University of Washington, and will involve more than 60,000 utility customers. The project is managed by Battelle, a $5 billion non-profit organization that solves some of the world’s toughest science- and technology-based challenges.