Jamaica to install 100,000 smart meters this year
April 17, 2018
Jamaica Public Service (JPS) plans to install 100,000 smart meters across the island this year.
JPS president and CEO Emanuel DaRosa announced the plan at the recent ground-breaking for the 24.5MW energy storage facility at the JPS Hunts Bay substation.
“This year’s equipment installation represents an investment of J$2.4bn,” he said. “The new smart meters will result in multiple benefits to our customers. These include: improved service reliability, remote connection and remote reading.”
He also said the company’s capital investment in 2018 would be the largest investment in any single year to date.
The roll-out of 100,000 smart meters is in keeping with the company’s goal to modernise the grid, ensure system reliability and lower costs.
The meters facilitate greater reliability, as they are able to alert the company when power supply has been interrupted. They will also reduce the incidence of estimated bills, as the company seeks to improve customer service.
Currently, more than 700 million smart meters have been installed worldwide.
The hybrid energy storage facility will help secure grid stability and improve reliability. It will be the first of its kind in the Caribbean, and one of the largest facilities being installed in the world this year. The project will be constructed at a cost of J$2.7bn.
The facility will have power readily available in the event that solar and wind renewable systems suddenly lose power due to cloud cover, reduced wind or other interruptions. The project involves constructing a 24.5MW facility that will be a combination of low speed flywheels and containerised lithium-ion batteries.
This initiative will also provide a much faster, cost effective and environmentally friendly spinning reserve or back-up as an alternative to traditional generation spinning reserves.
“This is one of the most significant projects to be undertaken by JPS this year,” said DaRosa. “This project will be a model for other countries in the Caribbean and even outside of this region. Being able to respond flexibly to the changes in generation demand and supply will redound to a meaningful improvement in the quality of customer service experienced across the board.”
Preparation work has already commenced, including soil tests and site surveys. The project is slated for completion by April 2019.