GE, 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.
About AES Eletropaulo
Distributes electricity to 24 municipalities in the metropolitan region of São Paulo—including the capital—which together hold a population of 16.5 million inhabitants. The area served by the company covers 4,526 km and concentrates the most important socioeconomic region of the country, with 5.9 million consumer units. In consumption and revenues, AES Eletropaulo is the largest electricity distributor in Latin America.
GE (ge.com) is an advanced technology, services and finance company taking on the world’s toughest challenges. Dedicated to innovation in energy, health, transportation and infrastructure, GE operates in more than 100 countries and employs about 300,000 people worldwide.
GE also serves the energy sector by providing technology and service solutions that are based on a commitment to quality and innovation. The company continues to invest in new technology solutions and grow through strategic acquisitions to strengthen its local presence and better serve customers around the world. The businesses that comprise GE Energy (ge.com/energy)—GE Power & Water, GE Energy Services and GE Oil & Gas—work together with more than 90,000 global employees and 2010 revenues of $38 billion, to provide integrated product and service solutions in all areas of the energy industry including coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy; renewable resources such as water, wind, solar and biogas; as well as other alternative fuels and new grid modernization technologies to meet 21st century energy needs.
Trilliant (trilliantinc.com) provides communication solutions that deliver on the promise of the smart grid to utilities and their customers worldwide. These benefits include advanced metering, improved energy efficiency, grid reliability, lower operating costs and integration of renewable energy resources. Trilliant currently has more than 200 utility customers including Centrica, Iberdrola USA, and Hydro One Networks and is backed by prominent investors such as GE, Investor Growth Capital, MissionPoint Capital Partners, UMC Capital, VantagePoint Venture Partners and zouk ventures.
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