Power Supply 4.0 project drives smart grid transition in Peru: learning from Colombia's success

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Visit to CELSIA as part of Ruta de la Experiencia, organised by METRUM. Photo courtesy of CELSIA

Peru moves to a greener, more sustainable destination in its energy sector, with electricity distribution companies gearing up for smart grids.

May 24, 2023

As a project that aims to improve the conditions for the take up of renewable energy and energy-efficient solutions among public electricity distribution companies (EDCs) in Peru approaches its culmination by end of 2023, the sector is on the brink of an exciting transformation.

Over the past two years, with support from the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MINEM) and GIZ as well as technical assistance from NIRAS, the Power Supply 4.0 project has ramped up incentives and assistance to EDCs in their modernisation. Now, armed with roadmaps developed using the Smart Grid Maturity Model (MMSG) methodology, Peru's EDCs are ready to embark on their journey towards smart grids.

Travelling the ‘route of experience’

Inspired by the success of Brazil's smart grid initiatives during an exchange visit in late 2021, a similar trip was organised to Colombia this spring, providing valuable insights, experiences, and lessons learned. With Colombia's roadmap as their guiding axis, Peru's EDCs are poised to embrace digital transformation, advanced metering infrastructure, distributed generation, and more, as they pave the way for a sustainable energy future.

For more than two years, in cooperation with METRUM from Colombia, NIRAS has been leading two of the four components in Power Supply 4.0 and supporting three EDCs with the development of pilot projects and business models to encourage their transformation into smart grid companies.

MINEM and GIZ in Peru have been committed in assisting the three selected Peruvian EDCs in the preparation of their smart grid transition roadmaps, which they will be implementing from 2023 to 2030. The roadmaps were built based on a diagnosis of the existing smart grid capabilities in the EDCs to establish the actions and projects that the EDCs should undertake to achieve the level of smart grid maturity they aspire to reach in the medium and long term.

A smart grid is an electricity network enabling a two-way flow of electricity and data with digital communications technology enabling to detect, react and pro-act to changes in usage and multiple issues. Smart grids have self-healing capabilities and enable electricity customers to become active participants.

Power Supply 4.0 Project In Peru 2
A pivotal strategy for achieving a collective transition toward smart grids among Peruvian utilities is to emulate successful initiatives like Colombia Inteligente. Photo courtesy of CELSIA

The Colombian example serves as a guiding framework for Peru’s EDCs, facilitating their digital transformation, advanced metering infrastructure, solar system projects, distributed generation business models, electromobility, demand‒response programmes, and other related topics. Colombian companies have accumulated a wealth of knowledge and lessons learned, which they are eager to share with neighboring countries like Peru. Consequently, an enriching exchange trip or Ruta de la Experiencia (experience route) to Colombia was organised earlier in May to Cali and Medellín, with ten Peruvian participating representatives to share learnings.

The exchange visit entailed empirical observation and critical reflection on the Colombian EDCs’ best practices. The itinerary included visits to an electric bus charging infrastructure operator and engagement with the public-private initiative Colombia Inteligente, which fosters technological development and standardisation for a well-organised transition towards smart grids in the country. Acting as guides along the route, a dedicated team facilitated dialogue, reflection, and analysis to capitalise on these valuable experiences.

Moving ahead, a pivotal strategy for achieving a collective transition toward smart grids among Peruvian utilities is to emulate successful initiatives like Colombia Inteligente. Following Power Supply 4.0's completion, it becomes imperative for EDCs to replicate and implement such endeavors, fostering the establishment of a robust and sustainable network of smart grids in Peru.

Cinthya Schweizer

Cinthya Schweizer

Project Manager Energy & Climate Change

Stuttgart, Germany