Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Schneider builds Egyptian smart grid control centres

Steve Rogerson
July 29, 2020

Schneider Electric is to build four control centres for Egypt’s national energy grid. The agreement will lead to the creation of a smart grid network that will support the country’s long-term energy needs.
Schneider Electric’s technology should ensure an efficient, reliable and safe electricity supply for both consumers and industry.
Egyptian Electricity Holding, Egypt’s national utility provider, has selected Schneider to convert the country’s national electric distribution network into a future-ready smart grid. The agreement, which was signed this month, includes the establishment of four control centres that will monitor and optimise the electricity network, as well as over 12,000 smart ring main units that will be installed throughout the national network.
The project, worth E£4.6bn, 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 will leverage its EcoStruxure Grid technology to build a future-proof smart grid that will use the power of digital to automate and optimise the grid’s operations. The four control centres will use Schneider’s ADMS advanced distribution management system to monitor, control and reconfigure the network through the use of big data and artificial intelligence.
“This project is a first of its kind, that will increase the grid’s efficiency and sustainability by deploying smart technologies,” said Mohamed Shaker, Egypt’s minister of electricity and renewable energy. “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 utilised in the upcoming phases of our grid project.”
In addition to the four control centres, 12,000 smart ring main units will be installed across a geography encompassing ten out of Egypt’s 22 governorates and will help 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.
French company Schneider Electric will also upgrade 1000 distribution points and substations so they can be connected to the smart grid.
The network will be protected by cyber-security software that is built-in to the hardware.
Once completed, the smart grid will help the country meet its future energy demands. Energy use through the electricity grid increased 6.5% annually from 2000 to 2014. As part of the country’s Vision 2030 strategy, the government has pledged to meet the energy needs of the whole country, 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 increase energy output from renewable sources, to 20% of total supply by 2022, and 42% by 2035.
The smart grid will be able to manage and optimise 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 for 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 renewables. This project will become a global example of the impact that smart grids can have on efficiency, safety and sustainability.”