Ecuadorian power companies plan to instal over 44,000 smart meters and associated infrastructure over the next three years.
Empresa Eléctrica Quito (EEQ), the power company for Ecuador’s capital and surrounding areas, has launched a tendering process for the procurement and implementation of an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) platform.
The AMI is intended to cover the service areas of EEQ as well as the distributors Empresa Eléctrica Ambato Regional Centro Norte (EEASA) in Ambato, Empresa Eléctrica Provincial Cotopaxi (Elepcosa) in Cotopaxi province, Empresa Eléctrica Regional Norte (Emelnorte) in several northern provinces and Empresa Eléctrica Regional Centro Sur (Centrosur) in southern provinces.
The budget amount is US$16.43 million for a total of 44,457 smart meters, including 36,565 meters for residential customers, 7,381 smart meters for large industrial and other business customers and 511 smart meters for distribution transformers.
EEQ and Centrosur will instal the lion’s share of 22,306 and 19,432 smart meters respectively, followed by Emelnorte with 1,433 meters, EEASA with 864 meters and Elepcosa with 422 meters. These numbers are selected according to the requirements and resources of each company.
The aim of the distribution transformer metering is to improve the monitoring and management of these units in order to improve the quality of service.
Key objectives of smart metering for residential and business customers include reducing outage response times as well as improving the meter reading and billing and offering other AMI services such as remote disconnection and reconnection and demand management.
The smart metering rollout, which has been in planning for more than three years, forms part of a ministry of energy and mines initiative to modernise the electricity sector with improved billing and collection and reduced losses.
The contract award is expected to be made in July.
Ecuador has almost 5.5 million regulated electricity customers. About 150,000 smart meters are in place, most under the state power company CNEL.