Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Brazil's Copel to invest $50 million in smart grid project

Iain Morris
May 13, 2014
Brazilian energy utility Copel is to invest $50 million this year in a smart grid project in Curitiba aimed at reducing power outages and energy costs.

The state-owned utility said the pilot would address three neighborhoods in Curitiba and use the most advanced intelligent energy networks yet to be deployed in Brazil.

Covering some 10,000 residences in Bigorrilho, Campino do Siqueira and Mossungue, the project will investigate network automation and remote metering of energy, water and gas – but also examine smart energy technologies in areas such as building automation.

The technologies are designed to measure the consumption of energy, water and gas, as well as decentralize power generation and ultimately support the development of new and more efficient energy infrastructure within cities.

Copel (Curitiba, Brazil) says it has set up a showroom that is open to the public – including groups from schools, universities and businesses – and will demonstrate the benefits of the smart grid for the electrical system.

“This pilot project is a crucial step in the development of smart grids required to encourage distributed generation and provide benefits to consumers,” said Lindolfo Zimmer, the president of Copel.

Copel says that its ultimate ambition is to completely automate the electrical grid, allowing monitoring and reconfiguration to be carried out by the system itself.

In a statement, it said this would improve the quality of power supply and help to reduce the number of system outages.

Another advantage, it claims, will be a reduction in operating costs associated with the management of electricity, gas and water supplies.

Brazil’s M2M sector recently received a boost from a regulatory decision to lower the taxes that telecoms operators must pay on SIM cards, which are used to support remote monitoring in smart grids as well as for other industries.
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