Dominica Electricity Services, in collaboration with Elster, will modernize its grid operations by deploying the first full-scale EnergyAxis smart grid system for the island. The project deployment is the first EnergyAxis System in the Caribbean to integrate prepayment technology with AMI capabilities.

In April 2008, DOMLEC launched a six-month pilot project of the Elster EnergyAxis System in the Fond Cole area of the island. Based on the success of this trial, DOMLEC selected Elster’s EnergyAxis System for system wide deployment. DOMLEC anticipates that the EnergyAxis System will help lower operating costs and reduce non-technical losses, which will translate into improved quality of service and reliability while keeping consumer tariffs reasonable.

At the formal launching of the project, DOMLEC’s commercial manager, Nathaniel George, said, “The Elster EnergyAxis System will allow DOMLEC to read, connect and disconnect meters remotely, saving the company money by reducing vehicle maintenance costs and other operational costs. We have always said that when DOMLEC saves, the customers save, and that’s a good thing.”

The project is part of DOMLEC’s ongoing loss reduction and revenue diversion efforts that have trimmed system losses from 17.5 percent in 2005 to 12.5 percent in 2008. DOMLEC will also use the EnergyAxis System as part of its existing prepaid metering program, PAY-AS-U-GO, that includes 7,000 installed devices. DOMLEC also plans to leverage the EnergyAxis System for other smart grid applications in the future including distribution automation and demand response once the system is fully deployed.