São Paulo, Brazil — (METERING.COM) — May 2, 2013 – São Paulo utility AES Eletropaulo has launched what its slates as Brazil’s largest smart grid project – a R$72 million (US$36 million) initiative which will include the rollout of smart metering to 60,000 customers in the municipality of Barueri and the deployment of distribution automation solutions in the city of Vargem Grande Paulista by 2015.
Barueri is a booming metropolis to the west of São Paulo, with a population numbering about 250,000 and including residential and commercial and industrial customers. It was selected as being representative of the company’s service area, with the aim that the initiative should be replicable to other areas.
Smart meters will be deployed to all customers in Barueri, starting in June with low income customers. The first deployments will regularize the illegal connections of around 2,100 families.
Customers will also be given remote access to their energy consumption.
“We are bringing to the population a new model for the distribution of energy, which can be replicated to other municipalities, including the capital,” said Sidney Simonnagio, vice president of operations at AES Eletropaulo.
In Vargem Grande Paulista, also within the São Paulo metropolitan area, the focus will be on developing a self-healing grid with reclosers and other technologies in order to improve its operational efficiency.
WiMAX is to be used for last mile communication.
Since 2010 AES Eletropaulo has already invested R$220 million (US$109.5 million) in network innovations, including substation digitization and the deployment of reclosers, and in preparatory work for this smart grid initiative. The company is also currently upgrading its operations center, and is also installing distribution management, outage management and mobile workforce management solutions.
Other partners in the initiative include the University of São Paulo Enerq center, smart grid technology company Sinapsis, and the R&D foundation FITEC.
AES Eletropaulo with 6.5 million customers in 24 municipalities in the metropolitan region of São Paulo including the capital, is Latin America’s largest distributor in terms of consumption and billing.