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25,000 meters for South America's largest smart grid project

25,000 meters for South America's largest smart grid project

Posting in Energy

Ecuador is preparing to kick off the second phase of a project intended to completely overhaul 200,000 electricity meters, with help from GE and Trilliant.

The South American country of Ecuador is preparing to kick off the second phase of a project intended to completely overhaul some 200,000 electricity meters.

Communications firm Trilliant and cleantech giant GE Energy announced on Tuesday that they, in conjunction with local utility company Electrica de Guayaquil, will roll out 25,000 smart meters with the hope of improving grid reliability and efficiency.

The new meter infrastructure will enable remote connect and disconnect of customers, collection of usage information and support demand-response control and pre-payment for later addition. GE will provide the meters and hardware; Trilliant will provide the communications platform it uses to function.

The new system will give EDG data it needs to more finely tune the country's grid and gives GE a stronger foothold on the continent. (Previously, it announced a $500 million research center to be built in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; it also does business with AES Eletropaulo in Sao Paulo.)

That's an important step for a region that's expected to have more than 104 million smart meters and swell to $25 billion by 2020, according to research by the Northeast Group.

"Improving Ecuador's energy outlook is a very important factor in improving Ecuador's economic outlook," EDG's Oscar Armijos Gonzalez-Rubio said in a statement. "The information, network management and efficiency gains from this new meter infrastructure will help us get the most benefit from our electric grid."

Photo: YoTuT/Fickr

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Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure