T&D World Magazine

Mexico's CFE Announces AMI Expansion

Mexico's electric utility Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE) has issued an additional purchase order for Aclara PLS Inc.'s TWACS power-line technology through Ambar Electroingenieria, Aclara's AMI distributor for Mexico, and prime contractor for the entire project. The initial, prime contract was awarded in December 2009.

Aclara's TWACS technology is currently being deployed as part of CFE's Advanced Metering Infrastructure project. CFE is Mexico's single electric utility provider, servicing nearly 34 million customers countrywide.

This follow-on purchase order provides an expanded deployment of Aclara's pole-mounted and socket-type TWACS AMI solution in Acapulco, an important seaport serviced by CFE's South-Central Division, to support the utility's AMI project. A key feature of this AMI implementation is the installation of in-home displays that will allow CFE to enhance its customer service through improved communications.

The initial purchase order in December 2009 was for approximately 90,000 meters, along with an option for an additional 90,000 meters available under the original contract. This follow-on order represents the additional 90,000 units. These combined purchase orders represent the largest individual contract ever placed by CFE for a two-way AMI communications system, and makes Aclara the leading AMI technology supplier to this utility. CFE plans to deploy new metering end-points in several major cities in Mexico over the next several years to use state-of-the-art AMI features that include: asset modernization, customer service upgrades, remote meter reading, interval read capabilities, outage management, aggregate demand, energy balance, voltage quality and other cost-savings and efficiency solutions.

The TWACS system is a fixed-network solution that transmits data over power lines. TWACS offers two-way communication to electric meters and provides timely and accurate billing information, load control, demand response, and outage detection and assessment. With this system, utilities can effectively manage customer data and reduce costs while enabling innovation and providing superior customer service.

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