T&D World Magazine

ESCO to Provide AMI System in South America

Colombian utility EMCALI EICE ESE (EMCALI) has chosen Aclara PLS Inc.'s TWACS powerline technology for its advanced metering infrastructure project.

The initial contract provides for the deployment of TWACS AMI technology to five substations and 14,500 customers, with a provision for doubling the installation size without additional approval. EMCALI management has stated its plan is to reach as much as 25 percent of its grid by the end of 2011, and the utility has earmarked the project's funding in its three-year budgeting plan.

The TWACS AMI system will include prepayment and non-technical loss solutions, in addition to the full AMI feature-set which includes remote meter reading, outage management, line balance, aggregate demand, voltage quality and other miscellaneous cost saving solutions.

As a long-term partner, Aclara will assist EMCALI, which serves 550,000 electric and 440,000 water customers in Santiago de Cali, with initiatives to improve its operating processes, enhance customer service, and facilitate the efficient operation of its electricity distribution system. Assuming full deployment, EMCALI will have the largest AMI implementation in South America offering advanced prepayment services and providing significant operating cost savings through the reduction of non-technical losses, while employing full AMI capabilities.

In addition, Aclara's solution will provide EMCALI with a custom web service interface that will facilitate the exchanging and synchronizing of prepay billing and payment data with a master billing station. The system configuration will include a specially designed loss mitigation solution that places pole-mounted AMI-enabled meters away from the homes.

The TWACS system is a fixed-network solution that uses patented technology to transmit 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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