15% of CFE's total electricity production in 2013 was lost due to theft or defaults. Non-technical losses in some areas of Mexico City can reach up to 35%
15% of CFE's total electricity production in 2013 was lost due to theft or defaults. Non-technical losses in some areas of Mexico City can reach up to 35%

In Latin America, Comisión Federal de Electricidad’s (CFE) in Mexico has selected Silver Spring Networks to deploy its IPv6 network and UtilityIQ software in a bid to provide connectivity solutions to cabinets in Mexico City’s Central District, which house a group of centralized meters.

California-based networking platform and solution provider Silver Spring Networks will in partnership with Tecnologías EOS deploy a ‘canopy network’ for meter connectivity across residential and commercial areas of Mexico City’s Central District, with the goal of reducing electricity theft, ensuring revenue protection and improving service and reliability.

CFE is reportedly the ‘largest utility in the Americas’ serving 38 million customers over 16 divisions throughout Mexico. Silver Spring’s solution will service approximately 140,000 residential and commercial customers within CFE’s Central District in Mexico City.

Tecnologías EOS will provide remote indoor displays to help households and businesses monitor their power consumption.

The deployment forms part of CFE’s ‘Reducción de Pérdidas de Energía en Distribución’ (Loss Reduction Projects on Distribution) smart grid project.

Says Eric Dresselhuys, executive VP of Global Sales & Development: “CFE is developing a model that energy providers across Latin America can look to for guidance as they begin to roll out infrastructure modernization programmes in their regions.”

Addressing energy theft

Non-technical electricity losses present a significant challenge for CFE. According to the Mexican utility, nearly 15% of its total electricity production in 2013 was lost due to theft or defaults.

In some areas of Mexico City, non-technical losses increase to more than 35%.

To assist CFE address this challenge, Silver Spring is introducing a “cabinet-level networking and software solution” that enables it to reduce non-technical losses, increase billing accuracy, deploy remote connect and disconnect operations, and help ensure the safe delivery of its energy supply to its customers.

Silver Spring partnered with Tecnologías EOS to integrate the Silver Spring Communications Module and UtilityIQ software suite with the Tecnologías’ EOS Cabinet Controller (CCG), enabling remote reading, command, control of the meters in the cabinet and remote displays.

The combined solution allows for a “secure physical connection from the transformer to the meter to prevent illegal connections and protects the meter from tampering via a secure enclosure,” says MarketWatch.

“The utility maintains secure access and control of the meters via Silver Spring’s IPv6 mesh network, to ensure that consumption is accurately captured and provided to CIS for billing.”