EIO - Smart Grid Island
The national energy and water providers (Enemalta and the Water Services corporation) have partnered with IBM to install ‘intelligent’ electricity and water meters in all domestic and commercial outlets, which is intended to make Malta the world’s first smart grid island.
IBM is building the island’s national smart grid network, which will consist of 250,000 smart meters placed in homes around the country. The smart grid network will allow the national utilities — Enemalta Corp. and Water Services Corp. — to conduct remote monitoring, meter reading and real-time management of the network based on IT. Real-time monitoring and smart meters can deliver pricing based on time of day, enabling the utility to better manage energy consumption and customers to cut their electrical bills. Malta residents will also be able to track their energy use online and see how to curb consumption habits.
It will allow monitoring demand much more accurately, saving on emissions by not having to over-estimate electricity and water use, and identifying more accurate patterns of use. The utilities will save money by not having to employ meter readers, and by identifying problems with the grid much more quickly. Customers will have an internet window to their technical and commercial data, to track current consumption and choose the most appropriate tariffs. This solution will be integrated with new back-office applications for finance, billing and cash processes, as well as an advanced analytics tool to transform sensor data into valuable information supporting business decisions and improving customer service levels. It will also include a portal to enable closer interaction with - and more engagement by - the end consumers.
The smart grid projec stands to be the home of one of the newest and most advanced infrastructure projects as well. The result of the Maltese smart grid effort will be an end-to-end electricity and water transmission and distribution system. It will not only enable more efficient consumption of energy and water, but will completely transform the relationship of Maltese consumers with the utilities, while enhancing their education and employment prospects. These benefits go well beyond the traditional calculation of benefits and would demonstrate that a smart grid project in an island environment can go well beyond simply improving utility operations.