Enel makes progress on smart meter pilot in Sao Paulo

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Enel Distribuição is progressing well with its smart meter trial programme in the Brazilian metropolitan region of São Paulo with the project hitting a 60% completion milestone.

Enel Distribuição has installed 89,000 smart meters out of the 150,000 units that are planned for rollout by March 2022, according to bnamericas.

The pilot is divided into two phases with the first phase comprising 150,000 customers and the second phase another 150,000 units.

The initial plan was to complete the first phase by September this year. Despite the smart meters being manufactured locally in Sorocaba and Vargem Grande Paulista, disruptions from the pandemic have delayed the project.

The Enel manufacturing facilities are claimed to be the first smart meter production in Latin America.

The smart meters have been installed for consumers in Perus and Pirituba as part of the utility’s digital transformation, grid modernisation, and smart grid development journey.

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The pilot aims to test the effectiveness of the technology in helping consumers to improve their energy management whilst enabling Enel to accurately bill its consumers and optimise the management of the grid. The results of the pilot will pave way for the rollout of the technology across the utility’s customer base of 7.4 million consumers.

Aneel, Brazil’s energy regulator, has provided $23 million in funding for the pilot with Enel co-financing the rollout.

The smart meters have an in-built communication technology that enables them to automatically send data and receive instructions from the utility. Data sent by the smart meters include consumer energy usage and meter tampering alerts. This data can be used to match consumer energy demand with available energy for grid reliability and will curb energy theft, a move that helps Enel to reduce non-revenue electricity.

Data sent by Enel include automatic switch off in the event consumers have arrears. The smart meters will enable Enel to eliminate the manual meter reading process thereby reducing its carbon footprint and operational costs incurred from circulation around consumer neighborhoods with vehicles to read meters.

The metering technology will allow the utility to quickly detect and attend to power outages as well as introduce new digital services such as Time of Use tariffs and other demand response use cases.

The milestone increases the number of smart meters installed by Enel across its global operations to 45 million.