We’re preparing the grid for growth, technology and renewables.
Behind every light switch is a grid.
- A stronger grid helps us reduce outages and restore electricity quickly when an outage occurs.
- As infrastructure ages, the grid must be upgraded to maintain a reliable system.
- The grid requires not just maintenance but improvements to prepare it for the future.
When you flip a switch, the lights come on. It’s a simple act we take for granted, but every switch or outlet is backed by a complex grid of power lines and infrastructure. Delivering power to KCP&L customers requires 3,700 miles of transmission lines, 22,400 miles of distribution lines and 400 substations.
The way we use the energy grid has changed dramatically even in the last 50 years. It was once used to send electricity one way over shorter distances. Today, we send power much farther than ever before, and we ask the grid to receive energy as well as send it. It’s a heavy burden on an infrastructure that’s already aging. It’s our commitment to continually upgrade our equipment—from power poles to transformers—to maintain our status as one of the Midwest’s most reliable utilities. Without this regular upkeep, our customers would feel a negative impact. Investing money in our grid improves reliability, helps reduce outages and lets us get the power back on quicker when an outage occurs.
We’re at a point in our evolution where the grid requires not just maintenance but also improvements to prepare it for the future. In an increasingly technology-driven economy, a smart, automated and reliable grid is vital. Building additional transmission capacity is also important, both to help renewable energy achieve its fullest potential and to reduce congestion for continued reliability.
Investor-owned utilities in Missouri and Kansas—like KCP&L—plan to invest billions of dollars in the next decade to keep the lights on and make sure power is available when and where it’s needed. These efforts span the full breadth of electricity generation and transmission, from ensuring plant compliance to testing and implementing smart grid programs.
Our efforts to improve the grid and add transmission capacity include:
- Ongoing Transmission Projects: We’re focused on upgrading the grid to reduce congestion and provide needed transmission capacity for long-term delivery of energy to the region.
- Increased Automation: Automation technology lets utility companies adjust devices on the grid from a central location, improving the efficiency and reliability of the power supply. We’re committed to ongoing automation projects that give us more tools for saving energy and resources.