Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Honeywell: Minnesota smart grid, Enacto energy management

William Payne
November 9, 2016

Minnesota electric cooperative Connexus Energy has initiated a $15 million smart grid project with Honeywell. The cooperative -- Minnesota's largest -- plans to deploy advanced smart grid technology to improve electricity service and reliability, and help the utility's 130,000 members better manage their energy consumption.

Honeywell has also launched a new software platform for energy services companies designed to allow them to more easily manage and track their customer's energy efficiency programmes and reduce risk of shortfalls in guaranteed energy savings. Honeywell's Enacto energy management software is designed to maximise energy performance contracting savings for multi-site operators and is currently being used by some key global retailers. 

Connexus Energy
In Minnesota, Honeywell will install more than 138,000 of its EnergyAxis connected meters and its new SynergyNet mesh networking platform for the utility. 

When completed in 2018, the fully integrated system will provide Connexus Energy with real-time data on customer's energy consumption for more accurate billing, better management of usage, and the ability to more accurately detect meter tampering and outages for faster recovery.

When installed, Connexus Energy, whose service territory spans seven counties and covers 1,000 square miles in the northern part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, will be able to gather meter data at any time for a more accurate view of territory-wide usage. 

The system will provide two-way connectivity for additional energy management measures, giving the utility more options for future efforts, including 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."

The project builds on Honeywell's other work with Connexus, which includes providing thermostats to Connexus Energy's Wi-Fi Thermostat Rebate Program. The program provides customers with monetary incentives to install Wi-Fi programmable thermostats that enable users to adjust settings from anywhere, at any time, and can help them save on their heating and cooling costs.

Enacto Energy Management Software for ESCOs
Honeywell's new Enacto energy management software is designed to maximise energy performance contracting savings for multi-site operators and is currently being used by some key global retailers. Enacto enable ESCOs to administer their customers' energy efficiency programs from a central platform, track energy savings by individual conservation measure, and help reduce the risk of a shortfall in guaranteed energy savings under the programme.

The software features an automatic reporting tool that saves time for ESCOs and supports multiple reporting schemes, including CRC and GHG. With Enacto, ESCOs can also help their customers achieve ISO 50001 certification, which will allow them to make informed decisions concerning energy use and consumption.

Kristof Lamont, product manager of Energy Intelligence, Honeywell Home and Building Technologies said: "With Enacto, ESCOs can maximise the impact of their energy management programmes, influence behavioural change, and gain significant and sustainable cost savings over the long-term for their customers. This solution is testimony to our commitment of further developing and delivering a comprehensive, accurate and actionable energy intelligence solution."