As part of its vision to become a globally leading sustainable innovative corporation committed to achieving Net-Zero by 2050, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) supports the Smart Dubai initiative launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world, through many world-leading projects and programmes.
The Smart Grid that DEWA is implementing with total investments of AED 7 billion, is one of the tools to achieve this goal. Among the key success factors of smart cities are the seamlessness and availability of round-the-clock integrated and connected services.
This is provided by the smart grid, which ensures two-way communication between the utility and its customers, allows for monitoring the various components of the power and water networks, and provides advanced features that include automated decision-making capabilities and interoperability across the entire electricity and water network to ensure smooth, fast and efficient operation.
Smart Grid Strategy
In 2014, DEWA developed its first Smart Grid strategy. In 2021, DEWA launched its updated Smart Grid Strategy up to 2035, transitioning the smart grid programmes into 6 themes. This helps expand smart enablers and provides more flexibility and agility to keep up with new opportunities and needs. The themes cover 19 globally leading smart grid enablers that support DEWA’s strategic objectives.
“We work in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide a state-of-the-art and integrated infrastructure for electricity and water to meet the growing demand and keep pace with the sustainable development needs and make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world.
This goes in parallel with providing electricity and water services according to the highest standards of availability, reliability, sustainability, and quality by managing facilities and services via a smart and interconnected network that adopts the latest disruptive technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including AI, blockchain, energy storage, the Internet of Things, and others,”
said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, commenting on the importance of the smart grid in the energy and water infrastructure.
“The seamless, swift and effective operation of the smart grid helped DEWA achieve competitive results that surpass prominent European and American companies in terms of efficiency and reliability.
In 2022, losses from electricity transmission and distribution networks were reduced to 2.2% compared to 6-7% in Europe and the USA. Water network losses were also reduced to 4.5% compared to around 15% in North America. DEWA has achieved a new world record in electricity Customer Minutes Lost (CML) per year. Dubai recorded 1.19 minutes per customer, compared to around 15 minutes recorded by leading utility companies in the European Union,”
added Al Tayer.
DEWA’s smart grid is based on six main themes:
Foundational Capabilities: These are the enablers that form the backbone of the smart grid. This theme includes the following capabilities: Enterprise integrated architecture, advanced metering infrastructure for electricity, advanced metering infrastructure for water, IT infrastructure, communications network, and security.
Grid Automation: This focuses on deploying sensors, controls and software to organise transmission and distribution network operations. This theme includes the following enablers: renewables, dispatch, and forecasting; asset management, transmission automation, and distribution automation.
Smart Energy Solutions and Green Mobility: This supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 and the Dubai Net Zero Carbo Emissions Strategy 2050 to provide 100% of Dubai’s total power production capacity from clean energy sources by the year 2050. It includes the following enablers: distributed energy resources; utility scale storage; and smart charging and infrastructure.
Smart Water: It focuses on providing data to understand the status of the assets in the grid and thus perform maintenance based on AI analytics, which extends the lifespan of the water network assets. This pillar includes the following enablers: operational excellence, customer focus, and digital transformation.
Smart Grid Artificial Intelligence: It aims to benefit from analysing data derived from AI, to provide added value and enhance customer happiness. This pillar includes two enablers: internal data insights and external data insights.
Innovative Value-Added Services: It focuses on the customer and promoting new products and services while enhancing existing ones. This pillar includes two enablers: smart applications and value-added services.
Pioneering programmes and initiatives
As part of the smart grid strategy, DEWA has launched several pioneering programmes and initiatives, including the Smart Grid Data Governance Platform platform, to ensure compliance with all data policies and procedures. This ensures best practices in accountability, decision-making structure, data management and stewardship. The Smart Grid Data Governance platform manages data as an asset, and defines and approves data strategies, policies, standards, procedures and metrics.
Among the programmes launched by DEWA under the umbrella of the smart grid is an Automatic Smart Grid Restoration System , the first of its kind in the MENA region, to increase the control, management, and monitoring of its power network. The system works around the clock without any human intervention. It uses a smart, innovative, and central system that locates the fault in the power network, isolates it, and automatically restores the service. This improves grid automation, fault detection and retrieval of connections. It also supports DEWA’s efforts to maintain supplies according to the highest standards of reliability, accountability, and efficiency.
In 2022, DEWA launched the Big Data and Analytics platform to integrate smart grid applications and operational technologies, among others. This enables the processing of large amounts of data and provides fact-based analytics and forecasting for current and future projects. The platform contributes to improving the operations and management of assets and smart meters, thus improving the experience of stakeholders and enhancing their happiness.
The ‘High-Water Usage Alert’ service, supported by the smart grid detects any leaks in the water connections after the meter. The smart meter system sends instant notifications to customers if the smart meter system detects any unusual increase in consumption, so that they can quickly repair the internal connections, or any leaks in the water connections with the help of a specialised technician, and perform the necessary maintenance work to reduce waste. Since its launch in 2019 and until the end of May 2023, the service has succeeded in detecting 1,524,522 water leakages in water connections after the meter, 30,141 defects, and 13,172 cases of increased load. This contributed to achieving financial savings estimated at AED 571.2 million.
News Source: Dubai Media Office