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Exclusive interview with Francisco J. Arenas

Francisco Francisco is the Grid Control Center Marketing Manager at Schneider Electric. He is part of the T&D conference track’s panel on “Technologies for the future grid” at African Utility Week.

Which current trends or developments in the industry are you most excited about?
IT/OT technologies automating advanced grid operations.
IoT based digital services linking the physical grid assets to enterprise software systems.

What makes you/your company a leader in this field?
The breadth of our Grid Management solutions incorporating IT and OT systems of the many actors in the electricity value chain. Plus the market’s most advanced distribution management solution specifically addressing outage management, and the impact of increased distributed energy resources .

Which regions in Africa are you most interested in at the moment?
Senegal, Kenya, Egypt and South Africa.

What will be your message at African Utility Week?
The New World of Energy is built on digital technology and to meet today’s transformational challenges, utilities need advanced grid solutions to create a fully interconnected grid ecosystem.

These systems connect a wide range of grid devices in substations, across lines, and at different customer profile connection points which need to be accessible anywhere and through a consistent approach, making the network model the cornerstone of this transformation. This also requires open data exchange and full cyber security supporting.

1.       More decarbonized & decentralized power generation
2.       Smarter & more flexible grid
3.       Engaged customers with safe and reliable access to energy

This digital energy ecosystem will radically improve grid performance by leveraging meaningful and actionable information from electrical devices.

As such the grid operator gets a faster return on investment, optimizing CAPEX/OPEX and building closer customer engagement.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.