GE energises Africa’s first-ever fully digital high-voltage substation

GE press releaseGeneral Electric Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business (NYSE-GE) has commissioned the first-ever fully digital high voltage substation on Africa in Thiès, 70 km from Dakar in Senegal

The 225 kV substation project is part of Senegal’s national electricity company Senelec’s transmission and distribution grid expansion, reinforcement and reliability enhancement program to be completed by VINCI Energies West Africa.

The substations are set up to supply electricity to the homes and also manage the power flowing into the grid from various renewable energy sources. GE’s Grid Solutions’ digital substation’s advanced functionalities, with its footprint reduced by up to 50% as well as accelerated deployment, are a key enabler of the energy transition.

Wassel Bouaouda, director of export projects at VINCI Energies, said, “This flagship project was made possible due to the robust synergy among VINCI Energies West Africa teams, the technical support of our team Omexom and the digital expertise of GE’s Grid Solutions. This first-ever digital substation on the continent is a great example of how to successfully combine the ongoing energy transition with a needed digital transformation to make the Senegalese electricity network more reliable and efficient.”

Grid’s digital substation aims to bring the flexibility of software-based applications, resulting in more opportunities for remote maintenance and upgrades. According to GE, the solution results in a more secure and efficient exchange of data between multiple devices. The advantages are that real-time data can be analysed to optimise asset use and maximise system reliability. 

Commenting on the milestone, Eric Amoussouga, sales director, GE’s Grid Solutions Business, sub-Saharan Africa, said, “A digital substation’s advanced functionalities with its footprint reduced by up to 50% as well as accelerated deployment are a key enabler of the energy transition. Moreover, by replacing the copper cables with fibre-optic cables - which do not conduct electricity, makes it safer for workers during maintenance activities. We are proud to have commissioned the first-ever fully digital substation in Africa, contributing to the increased reliability of Senegal’s electricity grid.”

The project contract signed between GE and VINCI Energies in 2018 included the delivery, commissioning, installation and supervision of GE’s Grid Solutions digital substation, panels, digital control system, current transducer optic and voltage transducer optic.

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