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SKELEC happy with modernisation pilot for aging assets

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Abhigna
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VANCOUVER, USA: The St. Kitts Electricity Company (SKELEC), in collaboration with Canadian technology company Corinex Communications Corp, announced their successful initial deployment of a pilot site as part of a government mandated initiative to modernize aging power generation and distribution assets, to culminate with an eventual island-wide deployment of nearly 20,000 meters within the next two years.

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SKELEC was one of several energy stakeholders on the island who realized that continued fossil fuel imports threatened future economic St. Kitts growth, prompting decisive unified action from both the public and private sectors to implement a national smart grid plan that could accelerate economic development. It adds in the announcement that SKELEC needed a solution that could not only work to address existing problems, but could also fortify and enhance the grid with new features and capabilities. Corinex was approached to provide a next-generation island microgrid solution that incorporated existing energy infrastructure while allowing for future integration of nascent renewable resources, such as solar farms.

To strengthen the specific business case for SKELEC, the Corinex solution incorporated advanced 40 Mbps broadband over powerline (BPL) technology into the network architecture. This as explained further, enables high-speed bidirectional data exchange between the utility's network operations center and the customer meter, which translates into near-instantaneous feedback for peak shaving operations and optimized load management across the grid.

The utility claims it can now offer cost-effective, differentiated services for individual consumers based on their consumption profiles, while empowering customers to understand their consumption patterns and adjust accordingly to reduce their electricity bills. Businesses such as hotels and resorts stand to benefit by expanding their income-generating activities without fear of electricity service interruptions. There will be no need to install unsightly new infrastructure such as radio towers that would obstruct views of the surrounding areas.

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After undergoing a lengthy tendering process that involved a number of internationally renowned technology companies, SKELEC was able to determine that Corinex offered the best solution. "The Smart Metering Project will enable to improve quality of services for population and provide a reliable energy supply to build new high quality resorts and hotels in the country to bring high-spending clientele. It will also enable integration of renewables and replace dependence on price volatile imported oil," explained SKELEC CEO Cartwright Farrell. "In order to improve the overall service and solidify electric infrastructure, SKELEC has decided to execute Smart Metering Project."

"This is good news for workers and families across St. Kitts, as well as for Canadian manufacturers and exporters of telecommunications equipment," said Ed Fast, Canada's Minister of International Trade. "Providing the tools and the support needed for Canadian businesses to succeed in global markets is our priority. When Canada's SMEs export and win contracts around the world, they create jobs and opportunities at home."