The Dominican Republic has had its share of challenges as efforts to deliver power more efficiently to consumers have increased. Sub-standard service, inadequate capacity and frequent black-outs have been a common occurrence in this emerging island country. However, with the help of GE Digital Energy and Consorcio Energético Punta Cana Macao (CEPM), a privately owned utilities company, the energy issues that have plagued the region for decades are being alleviated through smart metering and AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) improvements.
Consequently, the Dominican Republic’s popular tourist destination of Punta Cana has planned for the installation of 24,000 smart meters to speed power restoration and increase reliability of services to the over 40,000 hotel rooms and 19,000 residential customers served by CEPM. GE Digital Energy has already installed over 14,000 of these meters and when the project is completed in 2016, CEPM will become the first utility in the country with all of its customers utilizing smart meters, and the first offering pre-paid metering options.
The communications technology driving the GE smart meters is provided by On-Ramp Wireless. On-Ramp’s RPMA® (random phase multiple access) network enables reliable two-way communication between CEPM and its customers to provide accurate reporting and monitoring of energy operation and consumption. The RPMA access points, which serve as the communication device between the meters and CEPM’s head-end system, are installed in strategic locations to obtain ideal RF performance, allowing a single RPMA access point to serve as many 20,000 smart meters. Ultimately, these innovations provide CEPM with the ability to become aware of service issues and interruptions immediately, where in the past, they relied on customer service center phone calls to detect outages.
Through innovations from companies like GE Digital Energy and On-Ramp Wireless, the advantages of smart grid technology are helping to improve and modernize the delivery of energy in a reliable, long-lasting and cost effective manner which benefits consumers and utilities alike.
Source: Smart Grid Today, GE Digital Energy and On-Ramp Wireless