NorthWestern Energy has selected a smart grid command and control platform to provide demand response management and integrated situational awareness for the utility's Smart Grid Demonstration Grant Project.

NorthWestern Energy is a participant in the $178 million Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project. The effort, involving more than 60,000 customers in five states, will test new combinations of devices, software and advanced analytical tools to enhance the grid's reliability and performance. NorthWestern Energy's role is to evaluate the effectiveness of feeder automation, demand response and dynamic customer pricing.

NorthWestern Energy will deploy two SEEsuite applications from Lockheed Martin including SEEload for demand response management and SEEgrid for smart grid situational awareness.

"SEEload will enable NorthWestern Energy to shed load dynamically across residential and commercial customers, and SEEgrid will provide real-time, multi-system situational awareness and automated reporting to streamline operations," said Gerry Fasano, president of Lockheed Martin's Information Systems & Global Solutions-Defense.

SEEload enables utilities and grid operators to manage demand response events across an entire distribution network, including individual substations and feeders. The application also provides complete demand response life cycle management, including program definition and customer enrollment, real-time event management, and post-event analytics.

SEEgrid integrates key operational and business systems to provide near real-time enterprise situational awareness. The application enables decision makers to sense and respond quickly to changing market conditions, grid disturbances, and unplanned changes to operations.

NorthWestern Energy is one of the largest providers of electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 661,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska.