Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, Egypt’s national utility provider, has selected Schneider Electric to convert the country’s national electric distribution network into a future-ready smart grid.
The agreement, which was signed July 12th, includes the building of 4 control centres that will monitor and optimize the electricity network, as well as over 12,000 smart ring central units that will be installed throughout the national network. The project worth Euro 254m has a timeline of 18 months and will result in the creation of the Middle East’s first-ever country-wide smart grid that will be able to meet the needs of the country’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. The four control centres will use Schneider Electric’s Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) to monitor, control, and reconfigure the network through the use of big data and artificial intelligence.
Commenting on the announcement, Egypt’s Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy, Mohamed Shaker, said, “This project is a first of its kind, that will increase the grid’s efficiency and sustainability by deploying smart technologies. This project will also help advance the calibre 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.”
In addition to the four control centres, 12,000 smart ring central units will be installed across geography encompassing 10 out of Egypt’s 22 governorates. They will help to improve energy availability by detecting network faults as soon as they occur, and then reconfiguring the network to ensure stability. Maintenance costs will be reduced, thanks to embedded smart sensors that will transmit data back to the control centres. 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.
Once completed, the new smart grid will help the country meet its future energy demands. Energy use through the electricity grid increased by 6.5% annually during 2000 and 2014. As part of the country’s Vision 2030 strategy, the government has pledged to meet the energy needs of the whole country fully, to promote economic growth and national competitiveness as the country embarks on a series of megaprojects, including the building of Egypt’s new capital city. Egypt’s government is looking to significantly increase energy output from renewable sources to 20% of total supply by 2022, and 42% by 2035.
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. Much of the equipment that will be used for the project will be manufactured in Egypt, at Schneider Electric’s Cairo-based Badr plant.
“We’re proud of the contributions that we are making towards Egypt, its people and development,” said Caspar Herzberg, President Middle East and Africa at Schneider Electric. “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. This project will become a global example of the impact that smart grids can have on efficiency, safety, and sustainability.”
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