In Latin America, Mexico has kickstarted investment in smart grid technology by issuing a number of tenders for more than two million smart meters, finds a new study released today by Northeast Group.
The research report indicates that Mexico has began the process of selecting vendors for a total 30.2 million smart meter deployment between 2015-2025.
In a market that is valued at more than US$10 billion, Mexico is the second largest consumer of smart grid technology behind Brazil in the Latin America region, said Ben Gardner, president of Northeast Group.
“Mexico’s US$10.9 billion smart grid infrastructure investment will see significant deployments across a number of market segments including smart metering, distribution automation, battery storage, home energy management, information technology and wide area measurement.”
Mr Gardner said the market is getting a boost from the PIDIREGAS program, which uses private company and financing to carry out public works projects.
There have recently been more than two million smart meters tendered through the PIDIREGAS program.
Several were awarded in late 2014 and early 2015. There are a number of additional tenders with winners to be announced in late 2015 and early 2016, according to the research analyst.
Regulatory momentum for smart grid infrastructure investment is being driven by a smart grid roadmap developed by the regulator Comisión Reguladora de Energia (CRE).
Following the recent energy reforms in Mexico, CRE now has greater regulatory authority and a mandate to modernise the country’s power grid.
Smart grid Mexico
The business case for smart grid infrastructure investment in Mexico is strong.
Electricity losses can reach over 20% in some parts of the country due to high non-technical losses.
The country’s single state-owned utility Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) is looking to smart metering and other smart grid investments to lower non-technical losses and achieve operational efficiencies.
There are a number of local vendors well positioned to serve Mexico’s large-scale smart grid projects.
In addition, a number of international vendors have established a foothold in the market and are looking to expand.
Among the local Mexican vendors, Ambar, Eneri, Ho1a Innovacion, IUSA, Tecnologias EOS and a number of others are all active in the market.
International vendors such as Aclara, Elster, GE, Itron, Landis+Gyr, OSI, Siemens, Silver Spring Networks and others are also active.
Mexico City to Smart city
In April 2015, utility CFE selected Silver Spring Networks to deploy its IPv6 network and UtilityIQ software in a bid to provide connectivity solutions to cabinets in Mexico City’s Central District, which house a group of centralized meters.
California-based networking platform and solution provider Silver Spring Networks will in partnership with Tecnologías EOS deploy a ‘canopy network’ for meter connectivity across residential and commercial areas of Mexico City’s Central District, with the goal of reducing electricity theft, ensuring revenue protection and improving service and reliability.