T&D World Magazine

South American Utility Chooses TWACS Power-Line Technology to Automate Meter Reading on Two Islands

Colombian utility Empresas de Energia del Archipiélago de San Andres S.A. E.S.P. (EEDAS S.A. E.S.P.) is deploying the Aclara Two-Way Automatic Communications System (TWACS) advanced metering infrastructure technology on the islands of San Andres and Providencia. The TWACS fixed-network solution transmits and receives metering and utility data over existing power lines and is one of the Aclara-brand AMI solutions of ESCO Technologies Inc., St. Louis.

The project, undertaken in conjunction with the utility’s net operator Sociedad Productora de Energia de San Andres y Providencia S.A. E.S.P. (SOPESA S.A.), will ultimately serve five substations, 15 feeders, and 16,300 meter services across both locations. The initial stage of the implementation will begin in 2009, followed by full deployment completion in 2010.

A major objective of the plan is to reduce technical and non-technical energy losses. In the first stage this would amount to cutting losses from 34% to 12% on two feeders. In addition, the utility wants to use the data provided by TWACS technology to eliminate estimated billing. This will significantly advance the electrical infrastructure to a state-of-the-art implementation and is expected to serve as a gateway for further deployments in Colombia.

The TWACS system offers two-way communication to electric meters and provides for timely billing, load control, demand response, and outage detection and assessment. With the system, utilities can effectively manage customer data and reduce costs while enabling innovation and providing superior customer service.

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