Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, Egypt’s national utility provider, has signed an agreement with Schneider Electric to build four control centers to monitor and optimize the electricity network. The project is worth $290 million.
The new centers will help convert the country’s national electric distribution network into a future-ready smart grid.
The four control centers will use Schneider Electric’s Advanced Distribution Management System to monitor, control, and reconfigure the network through the use of big data and artificial intelligence.
The agreement, which was signed this week, also includes more than 12,000 smart ring main units that will be installed throughout the national network.
The project has a timeline of 18 months and will help create a country-wide smart grid to meet the needs of Egypt’s growing population, as well as its industrial development.
Schneider Electric will leverage its EcoStruxure Grid technology to build a future-proof smart grid that will use the power of digital to both automate and optimize the grid’s operations.
Much of the equipment that will be used for the project will be manufactured in Egypt.
“This project is a first of its kind, that will increase the grid’s efficiency and sustainability by deploying smart technologies. It will also help advance the caliber of our engineers and workers, helping them to achieve new and advanced ways of working that will be utilized in the upcoming phases of our grid project,” said Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker.
“This smart grid will form the backbone of Egypt’s energy network for decades to come. It’s going to future-proof the country’s electricity requirements and will fast forward the country’s adoption of renewable solutions”, said Caspar Herzberg, president Middle East and Africa at Schneider Electric.
Egypt’s government is looking to significantly increase energy output from renewable sources, to 20% of total supply by 2022, and 42% by 2035.
Energy use through the electricity grid increased 6.5% annually during 2000 and 2014.
The project’s 12,000 smart ring main units will be installed across 10 out of Egypt’s 22 governorates.
It will help to improve energy availability by detecting network faults as soon as they occur, and then reconfiguring the network to ensure stability.
In a statement, Schneider Electric said that the project will reduce maintenance costs, thanks to embedded smart sensors that will transmit data back to the control centers.
Schneider Electric will also upgrade 1,000 distribution points and substations to be able to connect them to the smart grid. The network will be protected by cybersecurity software that is built-in to the hardware. The new smart grid will be able to manage and optimize distributed energy resources, including renewables, and enable new technologies such as microgrids to be connected to the main grid.