The Smart Grid Alliance for the Americas is an innovative partnership to share experience and provide technical assistance in smart grid technology applications to cooperative, municipal and other small electric distribution utilities in Latin America. Initiated with support from the U.S. State Department Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs under the Energy and Climate Change Partnership of the Americas, the Alliance will accelerate the application of smart grid technology in Latin America and the Caribbean to improve system energy efficiency, integrate renewable generation, and improve access for underserved and new consumers. The Alliance partnership will facilitate transfer of knowledge and experience about smart grid technologies and efficiency gains through:
- Co-financing of preparatory assessments;
- Implementing pilot projects with utilities; and
- Disseminating the results throughout the Alliance.
Who is involved?
The initial Alliance partners include NRECA International Foundation, US rural electric cooperative utilities, municipal utilities, or cooperative utility associations in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras. The Alliance also has access to NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network’s research and results from the Smart Grid Regional Demonstration Project currently being conducted in the US.
The exchange of experiences of smart grid applications between the US rural electric cooperative community and Latin American partner utilities will allow small utilities to gain a better understanding of the potential applications and benefits of advanced smart grid technologies. The Alliance will also conduct utility assessments, then design and implement demonstration projects to help determine the most appropriate smart grid investments for local utilities. Finally, with this useful data and analysis, the Alliance partners hope to help create utilities with improved performance, increased capacity, efficiency, and also employ and maintain smart grid technology and infrastructure.