Caribbean Utility to Deploy Elster Smart Meters
St. Lucia Electricity Services Limited (LUCELEC) will deploy the first full-scale EnergyAxis® smart metering system in the Caribbean, according to a release from Elster, a smart metering and smart grid systems company based in Raleigh, N.C.
St. Lucia has one power generation station and seven substations that service the entire island and 56,000 customers. The island, 238 square miles (616 sq. km) includes a mix of terrain, including high mountains, dense forests, low-lying lands, and beaches, creating a challenging environment for wireless technology. To ensure the system would provide robust connectivity in all areas of its service territory, the electricty provider deployed a 200-meter pilot. The pilot proved a success with all meters communicating reliably on a regular basis to its operations.
"LUCELEC's objectives with the AMI deployment are to reduce meter reading costs and increase operational efficiency. This includes reducing system losses and improving our customer service," said Gilroy Pultie, LUCELEC's manager of transmission and distribution. "Elster's proven technologies and impressive track record will be extremely beneficial as we pursue our goal to enhance operational efficiency and customer service by being more responsive and making more information available to our customers to help them conserve electricity."