Nigeria to deploy 39,000 units in Q2; the US plans $562m AMI rollout project

In Nigeria, energy provider Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) said it plans to install some 39,000 smart electric meters in the first half of 2017.

The smart electric meters will be installed throughout the company’s service territories in Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti states to eliminate estimated billing.

The deployment of the 39,000 smart meter units before the end of the first half of 2017 is in line with the BEDC meeting its smart meter installation targets set by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

The installation of the smart meters will help BEDC to improve management of its grid network through real-time access to grid events data and improved understanding of consumers’ energy consumption.

By having access to energy usage patterns, BEDC is able to balance its energy generation, supply and demand.

The smart metering system will also enable the utility to curb meter tampering and improve its customer services through the introduction of energy conservation programmes to help consumers reduce their energy bills.

The utility is planning to equip all of its consumers with smart meters by implementing the installation projects in phases within the next five years, reported a local publication.

Proposal for rollout of smart electric meters

Meanwhile, in the US state of Minnesota, power utility Xcel Energy announced that it filed a proposal with the Public Utilities Commission to implement $562 million advanced metering project.

The project will replace the company’s existing mechanical meters with smart electric meters.

Matthew Parsell, the manager of project implementation at Xcel Energy, said: “[These meters] can communicate back and forth and allow us [to] adjust the voltage. By doing that, it saves power for everybody. It saves power for the whole system.”

The advanced metering system would help consumers to improve their energy efficiency by having access to their energy usage data on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. [ComEd to install smart meters in Sauk Valley, Illinois]

If the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission approves the smart meter proposal, Xcel Energy will implement the project as from 2019 through to 2021.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.