Like many other countries, Iran has started deployment of a smart grid system, starting with a smart meter roll out and implementation of smart metering/AMI systems in pilot projects during December 2011.
The plan was initiated two years earlier, by placing the implementation of the Iranian national advanced metering infrastructure plan (FAHAM) on the agenda of the country’s government and Ministry of Power. In the FAHAM project, about 1 million smart meters will be installed in five separate distinct and predefined areas.
The overall project target was to decrease electricity losses at distribution level at least 1% per year, with a 14% decrease in overall network losses by the end of the project.
As the next step, preparation of a seven-year road map to roll out electricity meters for all customers was started. The project is funded by Power Ministry of Iran and under the supervision of Iran Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Management Company (TAVANIR). The leader of the project is SABA (Iran Energy Efficiency Organization, IEEO).
The specific project goal was to transform the meters from a simple measuring and counting device to one element of an integrated system of hardware, software and people that can be used to better manage the electric services that customers find essential to their lives.
There are business benefits of AMI implementation in Iran along with other aspects, which are mentioned below.
Business needs of FAHAM project
- Correcting customers’ consumption patterns
- Applying energy management by the network operator in normal and critical conditions
- Improving meter readings and billing processes
- Reducing non-technical losses as well as monitoring technical losses in the distribution network
- Improving quality of service, reducing the duration of power cuts, and supervision on electric power quality
- Developing distributed generation and clean energy usage
- Possibility of electricity pre-sale and establishing electricity retail markets
- Optimizing operation and maintenance costs
- Providing appropriate management of water and gas meters.
As the next step, the authorities in Iran are working on development of an overall smart grid systems roadmap, in order to clarify the path for the next 10 years. During the realization of the FAHAM project, it was understood that there are many aspects of the work that had to be foreseen prior to further development and deployment of a smart grid system:
- Development of smart grid system technology and culture among different stakeholders, including generation companies, TSOs, DSOs and consumers
- The need for development of a reference architecture based on Iran’s generation, transmission and distribution domains needs.
- The issue of interoperability between different vendors’ smart meters and AMI systems
- Development and installation of a meter data management system (MDMS) and application of AMI system meter data to e.g. outage management and demand response
- Clarification on the security issues and necessary consideration of standards
- Development of load management systems as one of the main goals of the smart metering/AMI system installation
- Integration of existing EMS/DMS systems in smart grid system and specification for integration of future systems.
Iran Smart Grid Reference Architecture
Deployment of a smart grid system, as a system of systems, needs a clear path and road map for all implementation aspects of the plan. To have a clearer road map, there is a need to have an overall understanding, considering and taking into account the different point of views of the system players. This includes considering market issues in relation to enterprise and operation down to component level, for all domains of the entire electricity energy chain (generation to consumption), and considering interoperability in all layers of the system from business down to the physical layer. Based on a review of activities so far in the U.S. and Europe, as leaders in this area, experts in Iran are considering a model like the Smart Grid Architecture Model (SGAM) as the basis for development of an Iran Smart Grid Reference Architecture, taking into account Iranian electric energy industry concerns.
There are preparations ongoing on contracts with consulting firms and universities to develop plans, specifications, an architecture and structure for the next phase of smart grid system deployment in Iran.
- Iran Energy Efficiency Organization (IEEO-SABA), www.iransg.com/en/home
- Iran Smart Grid Group on www.linkedin.com
About the author:
Siavash Jamal has 15 years’ experience in engineering, project management, business development, consulting, and solution providing for utility network automation systems as well as oil and gas pipeline automation. His expertise includes technical/business development for EMS/DMS systems, oil/gas pipelines automation, AMR/AMI systems, smart grid system architecture and standards. Among recent positions he was senior associate consultant in Management Operation Consulting Intelligent Network Communication (MOC INC) and Power System Operation (PSO) for the European team of DNV KEMA’s Bonn office. He is currently working as an independent consultant.