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Nigerian DisCos seen saving operational costs, time, money on Schneider Electric’s new solutions

…self-healing grid solutions to boost power efficiency

Schneider Electric, a digital transformation, energy management and automation company, has launched new intelligent equipment to achieve a self-healing grid and ensure efficient use of power in Nigeria.

The new solutions would save electricity distribution companies (DisCos) significant operational costs, time and money, according to Ifeanyi Odoh, Schneider Electric’s head of Offer, Strategy and Business Development.

Odoh, who this known during a one-day utility end user training organised in collaboration with Bolarmark Engineering Limited, said products which include the Smart Ringmaster (RTU T300 & SCADA), Pix Rof and Auto-Reclosers were launched to enable stakeholders in the power sector, most especially DisCos, to fix major faults in grid and restore power after disruption within minutes, using the “self-healing grid” solution with minimal human intervention.

“What we have done basically is to provide more intelligent and advanced equipment that enables systems to be smart grid ready and to be able to, at the basic level, restore service operation automatically within seconds needing less human intervention,” Odoh said.

“As such, it reduces operational downtime of DisCos to less than a minute,” he said.

The training, organised in partnership with Bolamark Engineering, had over 30 participants from about five electricity distribution companies and other stakeholders and was centred on improving the grid reliability and efficiency, getting DisCos to improve on System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and System Average Frequency Index (SAFI); improving energy efficiency to minimize technical and non-technical loses and distributed energy resource integration to enhance grid stability and accommodate alternative sources of energy like solar, wind, gas, among others.

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According to Odoh, the new solutions would save DisCos significant operational costs, time and money. With the aid of equipment such as the Ringmaster RMU, switchgears, transformers, transient or passive faults which occur 75 percent of the time, will be addressed. This will save downtime for DisCos.

“Take, for example, you are driving and you knock down a pole, the system would isolate the line feeding that particular point as close as possible, localize the fault and restore power to the rest of the community not affected so that only that particular pole would then be localized or separated for manual intervention,” he said.

Omobolanle Omotayo, head of Channel Marketing, Schneider Electric, stated that the solutions will benefit not just the DisCos but also consumers with the aid of smart devices such as efficient utility meters, sensors and release devices connected to software that can be read on mobile devices, or on the web and managed remotely to reduce the face to face time.

Moyosore Oyefuga, PAE and product manager for Schneider Electric, while speaking, noted that the new equipment will bring extra level of visibility on the network so DisCos can accurately improve their forecast and make more informed decisions.

He stated that the equipment will help reduce the issue of load shedding by DisCos.

“With the kind of automations we bring, some loads could be deferred if for any reason, DisCos realise that there is a little bit more demand than supply or vice versa,” Oyefuga said.

Other speakers at the training include Adebayo Adeniran, tendering manager – Power System, and Oladapo Faworaja, prescription expert.

Participants from Eko DisCo, Ikeja DisCo, Abuja DisCo, Ibadan DisCo, Lagos State Electricity Board, Viathan Utility and the Bolamark Engineering Team graced the event.

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