• Bright thinking

    Bright thinking

    Egypt’s national utility provider is making progress towards converting the country’s power distribution system into a ‘future-ready’ smart grid.

    In an EGP4.6 billion agreement between state-owned Egyptian Electricity Holding Company and Schneider Electric, more than 12 000 smart ring main units – comprising smart-grid-ready sensors to monitor voltage, power, current and temperature – will be installed across 10 of Egypt’s 27 governorates to help improve the country’s energy supply. In addition, four control centres using AI to monitor and enhance the network will be built.

    According to Schneider Electric, the smart sensors, which transmit data to the control centres, will detect network faults in real-time and reconfigure them, thus reducing maintenance costs. As part of the project, 1 000 distribution points and substations will be connected to the grid, and hardware with built-in cybersecurity software will be added. The project is expected to last for 18 months.

    The new smart grid forms part of the Egyptian government’s goal of increasing its energy output from renewable sources to 20% of total supply by 2022 and 42% by 2035. While the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy has added new energy-efficient generators and refurbished old power plants, much of Egypt’s generation capacity is inefficient with a relatively high rate of electric energy loss, according to the International Trade Administration.

    11 August 2020
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images