In the US, Marietta Power and Water, Georgia's largest municipal utility, is implementing a fully automated smart grid solution across it's 45,000 power and 17,000 water customers.
Working with Tantalus, Marietta Power and Water will implement TUNet®, a smart grid enterprise communications and applications platform.
The installation remotely collects and processes electric, water and gas reading in near real time, through a hybrid of IP and wireless communications.
“We reached a point in our smart grid strategy where we were ready to take the next step from basic meter reading to advanced applications that drive measurable ROI,” Ron Mull, General Manager for Marietta Power and Water, said in a release.
“For Marietta Power and Water, the most favorable path forward was to utilize as much of our existing investments in ERT technology as possible, while moving to a more real-time network that could support applications such as voltage monitoring, remote disconnect and outage management.
"We set a goal to implement AMI to improve our operating performance and reliability through integrated advanced applications.”
According to a statement, Marietta Power will be able to fully automate the remote collection of daily and interval electric and water meter readings by overlaying its service territory with a low-maintenance and cost-effective TUNet system, while upgrading less than 10% of its installed meters.
The utility also plans to leverage a number of advanced data-driven features delivered through TUNet, such as improved water leak detection.
Additionally, the system integrates with existing billing interfaces, allowing the utility to leave current billing processes and meter reading routes unchanged.
Smart grid grows in Latin America
Meanwhile, in South America, smart grid investment is expected to reach $38.1 billion by 2025.
In a newly released report, South American countries are expected to invest in smart grid infrastructure as a way of combatting challenges such as electricity theft, poor reliability and operational inefficiencies.
The research, by Northeast Group, reports that approximately 9% of South America’s electricity is stolen — a figure which jumps up to over 30% in some territories.
Despite this, South America is seen as an attractive investment location, “with developing regulatory frameworks and core business case indicators that point towards immediate benefits from smart grid infrastructure.”
The total investment of $38.1 billion includes investment in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), distribution automation (DA), wide area measurement (WAM), home energy management (HEM), information technology, and battery storage.
“Brazil is by far the largest market in the region for smart grid investment,” said Ben Gardner, President of Northeast Group. “After several false starts, the country is now beginning large-scale deployments. In just the past year, Brazilian utilities have announced deployments of over three million smart meters and will invest $25.6 billion over the next ten years.”
“Beyond Brazil, countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina are serious about grid modernization and planning significant investment,” added Gardner.
“In total, South America will invest $22.6 billion in smart metering, $7.2 billion in distribution automation and $8.3 billion in other smart grid market segments over the forecast period.”