GE Smart Meters Help City of São Paulo Demonstrate Benefits of a Smarter Grid

  • Posted on: 15 June 2011
  • By: chw staff

Trilliant and AES Eletropaulo are collaborating in a smart grid research and development project—bringing the benefits of smart meters to the city of Sao Paulo and setting the stage for a more reliable and efficient energy infrastructure in Brazil. The first-of-its-kind project for the utility connects GE smart meters’ advanced technology through Trilliant’s wireless communication network to AES Eletropaulo’s meter data management center—improving system monitoring, identifying problems before they occur and reducing the duration of interruptions in energy supply.

"This new technology demonstrates the potential to improve our operational efficiency and increase customer satisfaction,” said Richard Van Erven, director of technology services at AES Eletropaulo. “We want to prove the benefits of smart grid architecture with this project and soon expand the solution throughout our distribution system.”

ANEEL, the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency, is currently studying a time-of-use rate proposal, where electricity rates vary according to when energy consumed. Findings are to be published later this year. With time-of-use rates and smart meters in place, consumers can monitor and manage their energy use and costs. In addition, utilities can incentivize customers to be more efficient and perform power-intensive activities during off-peak hours, reducing the need for Brazil to build costly new power generation plants, optimizing its smart grid technology investment and positively impacting the environment. The first step in realizing these benefits is to replace existing meters with smart meters.

"Smart meters empower consumers to have better control over their energy use and costs,” said Roberto Vengoechea, general manager—digital energy in Latin America for GE Energy Services. "This project with AES Eletropaulo is a clear sign of GE's commitment to Brazil and our local expansion. We will double our activities in the region this year."

"As Brazil's energy consumption has grown, the country has been a leader in Latin America in researching and deploying alternative energy consumption programs and incorporating renewable energy," said Rob Conant, SVP network products at Trilliant. "This program at AES Eletropaulo follows in this tradition as a great step towards realizing the benefits of the smart grid, and we're pleased to be working with AES Eletropaulo alongside GE in bringing these benefits to the utility."

The relationship between GE and Brazil goes back 90 years and was recently strengthened with the announcement of a new GE Global Research Center that is being installed in Rio de Janeiro. The $500 million dollar center will generate smart grid solutions to the specific needs of each country in the region.