Neoenergia, the largest electricity distribution group in Northeast Brazil, serving more than 8.4 million customers, is rolling out 35,000 metering endpoints based on Elster's Garnet solution in the country's northeastern region (Bahia, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Norte states). Spain's multinational group Iberdrola owns 39 percent of Neoenergia Group.
The roll-out follows the successful 1,311 endpoint pilot project with Elster's Garnet solution completed late last year to reduce non-technical losses and enhance collections. Elster was selected because the Garnet technology meets Neoenergia's specific required operating requirements for a robust, self-healing and easily configurable network with remote connect/disconnect, among other criteria. Neoenergia established a new configuration to its distribution network, where read, disconnect and reconnect to consumer units can be remotely executed, improving operational effectiveness. Elster's Garnet solution is also equipped with radio frequency (RF) mesh communications and networking features.
Developed and manufactured in Brazil, Elster's Garnet solution allows utilities to deploy up to 12 single-phase electric smart meters in one unit, which is typically installed on the top of an electric transformer pole to prevent unauthorized access to the equipment. The Garnet solution has a secure all-weather stainless steel casing and the embedded metering technology has comprehensive self-diagnostic functions that can identify tampering, fraud or irregular operation and can immediately alert the utility. Equipped with RF mesh communications and networking features, the solution allows for remote measurements and remote connection and disconnection.