Established in 1990, the mission of Utilities Aruba is to lead the energy and water innovations and supply on Aruba in a reliable, affordable and sustainable way, while representing the interests of the Government, WEB and ELMAR.
The government of Aruba is the sole shareholder of Utilities Aruba, whereas WEB and ELMAR are its subsidiaries. The vision is a sustainable water and energy supply for Aruba.
The main reason why Utilities Aruba became a founding partner of the Smart community is to figure out how to push the sustainability of electricity and water forward at households. After all, they represent approximately 1/3 of the total demand. The added value of Smart Community is that it will provide a research environment through which we will understand the performance of renewable energy technologies based on local conditions and how to best engage the consumer through innovative energy and water policies.
For WEB Aruba the ‘Smart Community Aruba’ project represents an ideal opportunity to be more innovative and efficient while maintaining the primary focus on the consumer; helping them save more money and providing long term, accessible, sustainable and the highest quality of water and electricity production.
The implementation of WEB Aruba’s sustainable water concepts for the ‘Smart Community Aruba’ include:
- A water treatment plant; where all waste water will be collected through a central sewage line from the houses located within the smart community for proper treatment and then, re-used for toilet flushing at the houses and irrigation system for the maintenance of the Smart Community landscape.
- Rain water collection barrels; will be provided to all the houses at the Smart Community. The collection of rain water can be used for irrigation and/or other uses at the house, which also contributes to water consumption reduction.
- Smart water meters; that can collect daily water usage data from the houses at the Smart Community, while also providing instant water leakage detection.
The implementation of WEB Aruba’s sustainable electricity production and consumption concepts for the ‘Smart Community Aruba’ include:
- Solar panels combined with energy storage; The main intention is to research different types of solar panels combined with different types of inverters within the Smart community. WEB Aruba will participate in this research by providing 5 of the 20 Smart Community houses such as, house number 9, 12, 13, 14 and 15, with poly crystalline photovoltaic (PV) panels combined with micro or string inverters.
Not only will this allow to research different types of solar panels and inverters but also experiment with various configurations. WEB will also incorporate a battery storage system in these 5 houses to investigate the capabilities of a completely sustainable household using a combination of battery storage with solar panels.
- Solar Water Heating System; This system will aid in reducing energy consumption. The heated water will be available in the bathroom and kitchen of the 5 houses that WEB will also provide with solar panels and energy storage.
WEB Aruba is aware that today’s consumer is striving to have more control of their water and electricity usage, for the most affordable price available. The implementation of WEB’s sustainable water and electricity production concepts at the Smart Community is the next step in order to achieve this goal.
The Smart Community project serves as the perfect pilot program that can later on be developed into an educational program on sustainable water and electricity consumption for the entire community on the Island.
Electricity distribution systems are undergoing dramatic changes. Supply of electricity is now evolving towards intelligent electricity networks. These intelligent electricity networks are commonly known as “smart grid” or better described as smart meter technologies. Since 2012 NV Elmar started with the implementation of an advance metering infrastructure (AMI) in Aruba. Together with the AMI network, NV Elmar introduced its well-known Solar Policy to enable its clients to connect alternative energy systems to the grid in order to deliver clean and sustainable energy. A smart meter, as part of the AMI network, is a tool that can help to measure and get information. Besides of its main function as an electricity billing meter, the smart meter also includes additional functions that can help the company to better plan for expansion and modification in order to enhance reliability of the grid. Challenges with alternative energy systems often involves grid stability issues for example dealing with solar and wind intermittency. The ‘Smart Community Aruba’ offers a platform to test different scenarios of these alternative energy system’s integration on the grid. Test results will provide useful information to help with mitigation an/or stabilization measures and proper equipment selection applicable for our grid conditions. Additional to alternative energy generation systems, EV charging stations and storage are also important for grid stabilization purposes NV Elmar.
Projects that relates to NV Elmar in the Smart Community includes:
- Solar integration; house nr. 3 will be part of the NV Elmar experiments. Adding solar and to measure its impact is the main purpose of this experiment. A Balance of System (BoS) will be tested to handle voltage fluctuations at the source.
- Local Storage; such as the BoS will include batteries, on/off grid inverters or commonly known as hybrids to operate online as well as off-line.
- Voltage Fluctuation Mitigation; to determine the Voltage Fluctuation in the area, two loops were designed to determine the voltage fluctuations. It is well known that voltage drops with distance, however solar integration changes the whole dynamics. An analysis will be done to determine where in the grid is necessary to add voltage regulators to deal with the fluctuations caused by solar or wind.
- Smart Electric Vehicle Chargers; both for residential as for the community itself EV Chargers will be implemented. The idea is not to just add dummy chargers, but to experiment with smart communications with the chargers to allow asset maximization control and the ultimate goal to do a general control to allow more Renewable Penetration on the grid.
- Online Stand-by Generators; this experiment involves using stand-by generators as goal keepers to maintain an island community grid known as micro-grid.
- Other interests; includes but is not limited to Distribution Energy Storage, Wind-Turbines, Electric Vehicle to grid (V2G), Smart Streetlights control, Smart meter control, InHome energy displays, user/client input and collaboration on the services, etc.
The smart community project offers a perfect opportunity to test different products and to determine what is applicable or not before starting with a larger project. NV Elmar over the past years explored different new ventures, which will propel innovation in the company. Ventures to create new services such as solar policy, Smart Meter, Smart Prepaid system, Smart Streetlights and smart chargers are just a few to mention. NV Elmar is clearly showing evidence of its keen desire to become one step ahead of technology development, a trend setter, on the Island and the region.
SETAR is proud to be one of the partners of the Smart Community. By being part of the Smart Community Project we set an example on how efficient we can aim to be on this tiny island of Aruba.
We also believe in knowledge and education. We sponsor and organize many Innovative, Technological and Educational Symposiums for students and the youth of Aruba to make sure that the future generation excel in a self sustainable environment.
The Smart Community is a showcase on what the future awaits for the homes of the next generation. It is a practical and valuable platform within the region for the exchange of information and applied knowledge on sustainable and best practices for the shift to cleaner, more environmentally friendly energy sources and resources. And we are so glad we are part of this team of smart innovation!
Setar Company Profile
At SETAR, we create connections every minute of the day. We deliver advanced mobile, fixed telephony, Cable and high-speed internet services for residential and business customers. We are the leader in Technology, Media and Telecommunications on Aruba.
Fast, highly secure mobile connectivity – for everyone on the internet, everywhere, at every moment and on every device – is what drives us. It’s reflected in our mission statement:
Creating connection between people and their family, peers and the world, everywhere they live, work and play…and we strive for the best possible quality possible..
Our customers can stay connected from nearly anywhere. It doesn’t matter if they’re driving home from work, traveling abroad or are off-road. With our high-speed internet service, we offer TV and wireless services everywhere on the island. We offer a wide range of internet speeds to meet our customers’ need. We continuously are expanding these speeds. With our fiber network, customers can download HD movies, favorite TV shows and songs. We offer solutions
business interconnectivity which makes doing business in Aruba easy and successful for our Clients and this helps them serve their customers better. Our high-speed mobile internet network covers people and businesses across the island.
We believe in the constant innovation in the technology of telecommunications for further development. We are very proud to be connecting everything and everyone seamlessly together and keeping Aruba at the top of internet speed providers in the islands of the Caribbean.
FCCA, as the only housing foundation on the island of Aruba, is always on the search for what best suits the Aruban community looking for affordable, comfortable, sustainable and smart living solutions and choices.
In our eagerness to get the necessary tools to continue to guide the community in reaching high standards in their need for sustainable housing and on their request to be guided to the best housing product on the market, FCCA decided to be part of the ‘Smart Community Aruba’ project.
FCCA is proud to be part of this project.
Together with TNO and the various stakeholders we hope to reach the ultimate goal to develop an appropriate experimental housing project that will serve not only the FCCA’s clients but also the whole Aruban community to a smarter and greener future. The island’s future generation will gain important insights, as schools will be able to tour this community. Visitors from abroad interested in the ‘green’ concept, especially in our harsh Caribbean climate, will be able to visit our project and hopefully get answers to their questions.
At Kibaima, FCCA is building these houses with the most modern technology available on the island, and is looking for tenants willing to be part of this important and innovative experiment in order to guarantee a bright and cleaner environment for the next generations to come.
The families living here during the next 5 years will be part of a special group of people who are willing to live in a challenging environment and be part of a new ‘green’ community that will be testing what is required in order to live an innovative and most enjoyable life.
The experience which will be gained by all during the coming years together with FCCA’s aim to guarantee a product of excellent quality, are the ingredients to assure those who are willing to join us in this project, the necessary tools to be the forerunners in a world where necessary energy-efficient technology and products dominates our daily and busy life.
FCCA, as one of the stakeholders and the one responsible for the building of these houses located at Kibaima – best known as Smart Community of Aruba – looks forward to the start of this important project.
TNO Caribbean (established 2011) is a knowledge institute based in Aruba with focus on sustainable development and clean technology. TNO Caribbean serves as a regional office and aims to employ a local workforce familiar with the Caribbean and Latin American setting. Staff totals approx. 15 fte over Aruba, Bonaire and Colombia.
TNO Caribbean is committed to help enable an efficient transition to a circular economy which interrelates the areas of energy, water, food supply and waste in small island development states and rural regions. TNO Caribbean is also committed to help with environmental management and sustainable management of natural resources (incl. coastal zones and marine environments) which are of critical importance to tourism-based island economies.
TNO Caribbean’s services include roadmap & transition plan development, techno-economic modelling, workshop facilitation, capacity building & knowledge transfer and pilot & demonstration projects. Example initiatives include development of energy roadmap planning for governments (incl. use of alternative fuels such as gas), development of Smart Grid (ICT) Roadmaps for utility clients, development of waste management transition (incl. landfill rehabilitation), techno-economic studies into production capacity expansion for utility clients and grid-code policy renewal for energy regulators.
TNO, The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, is the mother organization of TNO Caribbean. TNO is an independent research organization founded 85 years ago. Its main objective is to bridge the gap between fundamental research and the application of knowledge at companies, governments and non-governmental organizations, in order to increase the competitiveness of companies and organizations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. TNO’s unique position is attributable to its versatility and capacity to integrate this knowledge. TNO divides its expertise across five societal themes: energy, industry, healthy living, urbanization, and defense, safety & security. TNO Caribbean also serves as local point of contact for all TNO areas of expertise.
Within Smart Community Aruba, TNO Caribbean has been appointed as consortium leader and research coordinator. This stems from TNO’s experience abroad (i.e. mainly in The Netherlands) with participating in and/or managing living lab environments. The living lab paradigm entails that research is no longer done solely under confined laboratory conditions but also in real-life as to move new technologies from concepts to practical application. An important implication hereof is that the research perspective is not only technological but that it also includes end-user acceptance (i.e. social adoption) and economic feasibility. Combined this can give rise to new business models which may be required to facilitate the transition to more sustainability.
For Smart Community Aruba TNO has been engaged to ensure the integrity of all research results. To this extent TNO guided the design phase for basic infrastructure which, in addition to the infrastructure of a normal neighborhood, includes special facilities to enable the future research (for example: extra cabling and tubing). During the research phase TNO serves as overall coordinator of the shared research programs defined in conjunction with consortium partners . Moreover, TNO will have role in dissemination of findings towards Aruba’s people, businesses, education institutions and policy makers.
Summarizing, Smart Community Aruba is very relevant for TNO Caribbean as it will serve as a breeding ground for generation of new ideas and new knowledge development deemed critical for societal advancement in small island nations such as Aruba. By engaging local and international business partners in Smart Community Aruba, TNO Caribbean is also contributing to the development of a knowledge economy for Aruba.