2018 was marked as the ‘year of Zayed’ for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) and the UAE. The Year of Zayed featured a series of events and initiatives, designed to commemorate the memory of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, showcasing his impact and legacy.
The Vision is for Dubai to be the world’s number one in all fields, making it the smartest and happiest city in the world. All government agencies are actively working to support this vision.
DEWA has a world-class infrastructure, with a capacity of 10,400MW of electricity and 470 million gallons of desalinated water per day, to meet the ever-increasing demand in Dubai.
Excellence in customer service
Earlier this year, DEWA received the highest grade in The International Standard for Service Excellence (TISSE) certification from The International Customer Service Institute (TICSI) for the second consecutive year. DEWA achieved a score of 98.3% in 2018 compared to 98% in 2017.
Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, reports: “DEWA spares no effort in enhancing customer experience by speeding up and simplifying procedures; providing digital, innovative, and quick services, as well as simple, integrated, and interconnected systems through its smart channels remotely, at any time.
“The improvement process at DEWA is based on detailed studies of customer needs, adopting innovation as the foundation to benefit from these studies, and transforming challenges into opportunities while establishing new solutions that save time, effort, and money.”
In keeping with this ethos, DEWA recently started providing exclusive offers and discounts to DEWA’s customers, through the DEWA store. This is in cooperation with a number of public and private sector companies. Store offers include discounts on telecommunications packages, bank services, insurance, smart-home systems, maintenance companies, consultants and logistics companies.
A culture of learning
DEWA has supported multiple opportunities for staff improvement and training, winning the ‘Best Culture of Learning’ award for the second year in a row at the LinkedIn MENA Talent Awards 2018. In collaboration with LinkedIn, DEWA promotes a culture of learning among its staff by providing 2,000 employees with knowledge resources available on LinkedIn Learning.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum says that “Government employees are the engines of our achievements. They are the energy that fuels our development.” This has informed the focus of the DEWA training initiatives.
DEWA programmes include an AI Leadership Programme in cooperation with experts from the University of California, Berkeley.
The 3-day programme covers the latest developments in AI application in energy, water, machine learning, data science and applications, and other related topics.
Participants will also learn about virtual implementation of AI applications in the work environment.
“Through Digital DEWA, the digital arm of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA is redefining the concept of a utility to create a new digital future for Dubai. DEWA will disrupt the entire business of public utilities by becoming the world’s first digital utility to use autonomous systems for renewable energy and storage. At the same time, we are expanding our use of artificial intelligence and digital services,” says Al Tayer.
“DEWA will launch a futuristic digital platform, a data hub called MORO, to improve the UAE’s digital capabilities to develop smart cities, and provide state-of-the-art innovative digital solutions,” added Al Tayer.
The company is also providing its employees the opportunity to join the online MicroMasters programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The specialities for DEWA staff include statistics and data sciences; supply chain management; and data, economics and development policy. DEWA is providing this to 40 Emirati staff in the first stage.
In keeping with Dubai’s digital aspirations, DEWA has further organised an intensive quantum computing training programme, in cooperation with Microsoft. A number of quantum computing experts from Microsoft participated in the programme, which was attended by DEWA’s management and specialised staff.
The programme is the first of its kind outside the US, aimed at developing new solutions based on quantum computing for the production, transmission and distribution of energy and water, as well as in conservation efforts. It also aims to identify the challenges that quantum computing can deal with, considering its immense power compared to current computers.
DEWA is working closely with Microsoft to develop a quantum strategy, programme quantum algorithms, build capacity, and test the solutions within Microsoft’s Azure platform even before the development of general-purpose quantum computers. This will ensure a seamless migration for these solutions when quantum computers become widely available around the world.
DEWA launched Green Dubai in September 2018, an initiative in three phases.
In its first phase, Green Dubai will include the Shams Dubai initiative, which encourages building owners to install photovoltaic solar panels and connect them to DEWA’s grid. To date, DEWA has connected over 1,145 buildings to Dubai’s power grid with a capacity of nearly 50MW.
The second phase – the Green Charger initiative – will see the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. DEWA has already installed over 100 Green Chargers across Dubai and is working to increase the number to 200 by end of 2018. To encourage customers to use eco-friendly electric vehicles, DEWA provides free charging for electric cars registered in the Green Charger initiative until the end of 2019.
High Water Usage Alert, the third initiative under Green Dubai, will help customers discover possible leaks in their water supply after the meter. The system sends instant notifications to the customer if there are any unusual increases in consumption, which helps the customer to check the internal connections and repair any leaks, with the help of a specialised technician. This contributes to reducing incurred costs by limiting water wastage.
Green Dubai supports the Dubai demand side management strategy to reduce electricity and water use by 30% by 2030, generating clean solar energy, and encouraging the use of eco-friendly electric vehicles.
In October DEWA launched the My Sustainable Living programme, enabling residential customers to compare their monthly electricity and water usage with the average usage of similar efficient homes. The programme enables them to compare their monthly electricity and water consumption with similar homes and other efficient homes.
The programme targets around 480,000 residential customers in Dubai and consists of four main features. A comparison dashboard of similar homes in the region, and other efficient similar homes, a graph of estimated consumption trends, a monthly consumption report, and conservation tips to help customers use electricity and water responsibly. Thus far a total of 343,000 customers have been enrolled in the first phase of the programme.
DEWA has received the ISO 50001 for its energy management system at its headquarters, in recognition of its efforts for promoting and managing energy efficiency.
DEWA integrates energy efficiency into its management practices to increase awareness of energy use, reinforce good energy management behaviours and make better use of existing energy-consuming assets and processes. It also helps DEWA identify its priorities by adopting the latest energy saving technologies.
Al Tayer has announced that DEWA has installed 595,755 smart water meters across Dubai. This is 80.6% of the total number of water meters in the Emirate, with all water meters in Dubai to become smart meters by the end of next year.
DEWA completed the electrical connections and installation of smart meters at four projects, an electric vehicle charging station, and a ‘Manarati’ smart pole at Al Marmoom nature reserve. Marmoom is a nature reserve for plants, animals, and local and migratory birds. The reserve aims to become the largest environmental tourist destination, attracting one million visitors annually, and will include over 20 projects implemented by nine government organisations.
DEWA is participating in the development of Al Marmoom nature reserve via six projects.
The first will supply clean energy from the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park to help protect the environment and promote sustainable development. The second project is the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of the reserve’s facilities and connecting them to DEWA’s grid as part of the Shams Dubai initiative.
The third is the installation of electric vehicle charging stations as part of the Green Charger initiative to promote an uptake of electric vehicles. Another project provides state-of-the-art smart meters with advanced features that contribute to a smart and ecofriendly lifestyle. The fifth project involves the installation of Manarati smart poles with innovative applications including charging electric vehicles, interactive screens, smart environmental sensors, and Internet access.
The final project involves the development of an advanced water infrastructure at Al Marmoom Reserve that meets the highest global standards, to ensure the readiness of DEWA’s network to provide water for all the projects in the reserve.
Award winning projects
DEWA won the Transmission & Distribution Project of the Year award for its 132/11 kilovolt (kV) substation project launched for Expo 2020 Dubai, which will provide the energy needed for this mega global event.
DEWA also won the Smart Grid Project of the Year award for its smart electricity and water network control systems.
“As the first official sustainable energy partner of Expo 2020, we were keen to speed up the completion of our projects in support of the sustainable energy provision for the event’s facilities,” explains Al Tayer.
DEWA has commissioned three 132/11kV substations, named Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability (named after Expo 2020’s three subthemes), with 45 kilometres of highvoltage 132kV cables and intends to supply the exhibition with clean energy, while the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park will supply 400MW of energy.
“With the Smart Applications through Smart Meters and Grids initiative, we aim to support and increase the capacity and efficiency of power transmission networks by providing smart and innovative energy infrastructure and service facilities for sustainable development in Dubai. This is achieved by providing electricity and water services in accordance with the highest standards of availability, reliability, and efficiency. DEWA is currently replacing the old mechanical and electro-mechanical meters with smart new meters, and has already implemented a number of smart technology procedures in power grids, and the latest SCADA, smart monitoring, and control automation systems.
In total, there will be more than 1.2 million smart meters in Dubai by 2020,” Al Tayer says.
“The Smart Grid is a key component of DEWA’s strategy to develop an advanced infrastructure to support Dubai’s efforts in becoming a smart and happy city. We are strengthening the electricity and water infrastructure by relying on smart, modern network technologies and providing advanced features that include automatic decision-making and interoperability across the entire electricity and water network.
The smart grid supports efficiency for consumers to optimise their utility consumption. In turn, it supports the Dubai Plan 2021 and the Demand Side Management Strategy to decrease energy and water consumption to 30% by 2030. The smart grid project includes 11 programmes with investments totalling AED 7 billion to be completed in short, medium, and long-term phases between 2014 and 2035,” Al Tayer concludes. SEI