Riyadh, Saudi Arabia --- (METERING.COM) --- December 10, 2010 - Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is to deploy 60,000 smart meters in a pilot project and thereafter add a further 30,000 smart meters a year over the next 10 years in order to meet demand.

This was announced by the company’s executive vice president, Distribution and Customer Service, Saad H. Al Mansour, speaking at Metering International’s Smart Grids Middle East event in Dubai earlier this week.

Mansour said that a financial bid to implement 40,000 meters was opened in November, to which another 20,000 meters will be added.

A number of pilot projects are already under way, including one in the Diplomatic Quarter in Riyadh with 1,300 smart meters. The company is also targeting the industrial centers in Jeddah, Makkah, Meddina and Dammam in 2010 and in 2011 plans to focus on Qassim, Haiel, Asir, and later Al-Kharj, Dawadmin, Jazan, Naiyira, and Altaif among others.

Mansour also commented on SEC’s $80 billion grid modernization plan expansion plan, saying that the company was moving slowly with it, principally because of the harsh weather conditions. Gulf countries should coordinate their activities in order to learn from each other.

“(The program) will help us in theft detection, data management, and real time pricing and it will help us in the future with home automation,” said Mansour.

At Smart Grids Middle East Saudi Electricity Company’s program was recognized with a “Tomorrow’s Leader” award from Metering International for commitment to a smart grid future.