Westar Energy, the largest electricity provider in Kansas, is implementing outage management and mobile workforce management solutions created by Intergraph to improve the company's smart grid technology and make its process more efficient.

For example, the InService Outage Management System will allow Westar to connect dispatchers and crews through geospatial maps on mobile devices. This technology upgrade is designed to help the company during service restoration following a storm.

Westar's new SmartStar Program seeks to make the company more eco-friendly, and Intergraph's tech upgrades have been implemented to help operational efficiency, asset utilization and performance and other increases to infrastructure and metering data management.

Customers of Westar, headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, can rest easy because the provider will likely not have to increase costs for energy delivery because the implementation is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The company serves more than 687,000 customers.

According to the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, the DOE smart grid investment grants are part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The program, the largest single grid modernization investment in the nation's history, is intended to help utility companies and providers transition to a smarter, more efficient and reliable electric system.