According to Taru Madangombe, Vice President of Energy in Southern Africa for Schneider Electric, the energy supply industry in South Africa is experiencing a new dawn.
“It offers digitisation, decentralisation, grid maintenance and management, energy efficiency and industrial applications, renewable energy systems, energy storage, demand management, communications and automation for infrastructure.
“Schneider Electric strives to ensure that life is on for the rural and urban infrastructures of South Africa, through the application of its specialised product knowledge and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
“Our Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS), which combines the Distribution Management System (DMS), Outage Management System (OMS) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system into one comprehensive network management solution, is being used by electrical utility providers to give them more visibility to manage their revenue and network performance better.”
Looking to supply remote or rural areas with a reliable energy supply, microgrids and mini-grids also offer a key opportunity to electrify these areas rapidly and cost effectively while at the same time expanding the availability of clean energy. Suitable for communities and facilities like schools or community centres, microgrids can be used anywhere to support clean energy and the replacement of costly fossil fuels.
“We are installing solar power in remote rural villages lacking access to the grid, such as Gwakwani in Limpopo, empowering them with economic and educational opportunities,” added Madangombe.
“We recently collaborated with AdSolar to build a unique PV solution delivering power generation and security for energy independence and self-sustainability to a high-end residential estate development in Durban.
“Additionally, we are upgrading older substations, such as the Stubb Street Substation in Makhado. The first of five Makhado’s substations has already been upgraded from the antiquated breakers of yesteryear to the new-generation Schneider Premset SSIS modular switchgears.”
Schneider’s Premset offers unprecedented safety, efficiency and ease of use. Its design allows for simplified network upgrades, and easy on-site additions that do not require any additional training, tools or adjustments while also reducing installation time and cost. As a result, the substation went from being a rather noisy, often failing and difficult-to-maintain system, to a quiet substation.
“These achievements encapsulate all that Schneider Electric stands for in the provision of energy,” said Madangombe.