In East Africa, the Kenyan power utility, Kenya Power, has stated that over the next five years the company will spend Sh22 billion ($217 million) to upgrade the electricity grid and introduce redundant network to curb power cuts, reports local media the Daily Nation.
It is reported that due to the recent three nationwide power outages in 2016, there have been concerns over the quality of power supply; as such the power company has stated that it intends on creating an alternative network to take over when the current lines become faulty, effectively minimising blackouts.
Kenya Power outlines its strategy
Labelled the 2016-2021 Grid Development and Maintenance Plan, the project is said will comprise revamping the current network as well as remapping power distribution.
Kenya Power’s MD Ben Chumo, said: “We are making good progress to rehabilitate and rebuild our distribution network to be flexible enough and meet international benchmarks.
“One of the things we want to achieve is create a redundant network that allows the company to switch customers to alternative supply lines during planned and unplanned outages.”
Chumo added: “While it is a norm to notify our customers of planned shutdowns to facilitate maintenance works, it may not be possible to forewarn them on unforeseen system breakdowns.”
Redundant network for industrial market
The redundant network can be explained as the alternative line of supply such that if one line goes off, power is automatically supplied by the other line hence the customer stays continuously connected. The system is reported to be used in advanced economies.
According to the Daily Nation, in the current financial year, the power utility is to spend Sh5.5 billion ($5.4 million) in network refurbishment and creation of redundant network especially in the industrial zones.
It is reported that some large power and domestic customers within the Industrial Area in Nairobi have benefited from the Boresha Stima Viwandani, which involved revamping of substations and construction of additional power lines.
“As the network grows in tandem with the rapid increase in the number of customers, we experience both technical and commercial losses. We are focused on bringing down the system losses from the current 19% to single-digit figures in the medium-term,” Chumo said.