ESSEN, Germany and SAO PAULO, Oct. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Elster announced today that 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.
Neoenergia is committed to ensuring the safe, efficient and affordable supply of electricity to communities under the national program of energy universalization. Customer connection can be particularly challenging in some areas and it was essential that it found a robust, secure and cost-effective solution to reduce non-technical losses and improve both installation times and collections.
Elster's Garnet solution proved extremely successful in meeting these goals during the pilot project.
Roll-outs of Elster's Garnet solution have continued to gain momentum in Brazil, with a number of major utilities deploying Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) as part of essential upgrades to the electric distribution network. AES Eletropaulo, the largest power distribution company in Brazil with more than six million customers, has completed an initial roll-out of Garnet solution in the Morada do Sol community and is now preparing a second roll-out in another community. Also, Light S.A., the second largest utility in Brazil, has selected Garnet as part of its AMI program for the communities of Macacos, Alemao and Cidade de Deus in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
"The innovative design of Elster's Garnet solution and powerful remote reading and diagnostic features have enabled a number of Brazil's major utilities to deliver secure, reliable and safe connection to the electricity grid for communities in challenging areas," said Geraldo Guimaraes, Elster Integrated Solutions' vice president for Latin America.
"The success of these programs is expanding Elster's important relationships with Brazil's largest utilities and bringing the benefits of AMI to new communities," Guimaraes added.
Elster is one of the world's largest electricity, gas and water measurement and control providers. Its offerings include distribution monitoring and control, advanced smart metering, demand response, networking and software solutions, and numerous related communications and services – key components for enabling consumer choice, operational efficiency and conservation. Its products and solutions are widely used by utilities in the traditional and emerging Smart Grid markets.
Elster has one of the most extensive installed revenue measurement bases in the world, with more than 200 million metering devices deployed over the course of the last 10 years. It sells its products and services in more than 130 countries across electricity, gas, water and multi-utility applications for residential, commercial and industrial, and transmission and distribution applications.