The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) has announced the installation of some 10 million smart electricity meters and claims this has been done in less than 14 months.
In a press statement, the utility’s CEO Fahd Bin Hussein Al-Sudairi touted the milestone achieved by his company and how the smart meters programme will help the energy provider to optimise its operations and customer services.
Al-Sudairi said the smart meters project is his company’s most important development that has laid the firm’s foundation for future grid modernisation and digital transformation programmes.
Despite the operational challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Saudi Electricity Company managed to replace 10 million analogue meters across all its regions of service.
Of the 10 million units installed, the utility claims that 4 million were manufactured locally as part of efforts by Saudi Arabia to reduce its reliance on technology imports and to create jobs locally. Manufacturing locally will also help the state to equip its people with the skills required for future business cases and technology innovations.
“The smart meters and their technological and communication systems are resistant to the various climatic conditions, and are in conformity with the best local and international technical standards and specifications,” according to a statement.
Smart electricity meters programme management and stakeholders participation
The CEO gave credit to the role played by various government departments including the Ministries of Energy, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Electricity & Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA), Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), Local Content & Government Procurement Authority – LCGPA and the Communications and Information Technology Commission, towards the successful implementation of the smart electricity meters programme.
Moreover, the high-level management of project implementation by Saudi Electricity Company also played a key role. The utility previously signed a deal with workflow solutions firm Nintex as the energy firm sort a platform to simplify the development of digital solutions including the Construction Portal and Violation Monitoring System.
The Construction Portal is a platform for the utility’s administrators and contractors to discuss projects and related operations, including running changes, ordering additional supplies, returning excess materials, verifying certificates of completion and work permits.
Using the system, field crews were able to access operational tracks and tasks, respond to notices, and upload images to document progress on a given project.
Ahmed Alsaqqaf, director of advanced and emerging technology projects at Saudi Electricity Company, added that the construction platform “helps save time and effort to expedite operations with ease.”