Mexico plans US$650mn smart grid investment

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Mexico will invest 11.6bn pesos (US$646mn) over the next eight years to implement a smart grid, giving the electricity network greater reliability, flexibility and planning capacity, according to the energy minister.

Pedro Joaquín Coldwell (pictured, center) said during the presentation of the plan that Mexico has the know-how, technology and human resources to create a more modern grid, taking advantage of digital metering technology and communications to make the grid more reliable, stable, safe and efficient, according to an energy ministry (Sener) release.

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State utility CFE's chief executive Jaime Hernández Martinez, said during the presentation that the country will this year invest more than 14.6bn pesos in the expansion and modernization of the transmission and distribution network so that both public and private firms can deliver electricity to consumers.

CFE has already implemented grid upgrades in various states, and in 2015 awarded a smart grid contract to Silver Spring Networks for the capital city's central district, reducing power theft and allowing customers to monitor their consumption. Last September, the utility awarded a US$170mn grid upgrade contract to reduce distribution losses to a consortium made up of Eléctricas de Medellín Ingeniería y Servicios, Edemtec and Siemens for the capital and neighboring Mexico state.

Energy regulator CRE said in 2015 that CFE loses 45bn pesos a year because of technical faults and theft.

Also read: Mexico in hi-tech push to stem power losses