Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) set out detailed plans for transforming its current infrastructure into a smart grid environment in 2016. The first smart meter roll-out, encompassing 40,000 metering points, will officially start at the end of December. Iskraemeco’s smart metering solution for Zimbabwe includes smart meters and head-end software for meter data collection and management.
For ZETDC, a subsidiary of the national power utility ZESA, the smart metering project is the first step towards smart grid implementation. The key drivers behind smart grid deployment are revenue growth, energy efficiency and management of distributed renewable energy resources.
Smart AM550 and MT880 meters, together with the SEP2W software for meter data management, will be installed in residential and industrial settings all over Zimbabwe. The major issue that the utility will be addressing through smart metering are non-technical losses. These affect the quality of supply and the electrical load on the generating stations, which causes further losses, such as damage to grid infrastructure and reduction of grid reliability.
“The smart meter will actually become the brain of the network”, said Julius Mapipi, Technical Services Manager at ZETDC. With a completed smart system, the utility will be able to bill and collect revenue in a timely and efficient manner and detect fraud on the spot. Leonard Chisina, Head of Metering at ZETDC, added that “real-time information about electricity consumption will enable end consumers to use electricity more efficiently and get involved in energy conservation activities.”