Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Uganda’s electricity utility gets high-tech to implement smart grid

UMEME is spending up to $700,000 on contracts to Uganda based companies to implement parts of its recently launched Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System.

This $5m worth system is a digital monitoring system that will provide UMEME with full operational control of the electricity distribution network. The system provides real time information of UMEME's assets on the network.

Information availed from ZK advertising, indicates that the benefitting companies include COMTEL Africa Ltd, MTN, ATX and Computec. Among the jobs these companies are conducting are; provision of communication infrastructure, implementing Voice over Internet Protocol technology using CISCO unified communication. This is to be done by COMTEL.

MTN is providing all communication links for SCADA while ATX took on wiring and laying the internal Fibre Optic cables that will be used to transport data and voice communication. Computec did a service level agreement to maintain and service the SCADA computers.

According to ZK, the advertising company, Phase 1 of the SCADA project was implemented in August 2009 and covers 35 substations out of the 64 substations. Phase 2 will be implemented in June 2010 and will cover the remaining 29 substations.

Among the anticipated benefits the SCADA will bring to UMEME are the ability to monitor, control and operate the company's own network, enhance security of the company's assets, improve safety and quality of power supplied.

The SCADA system will also improved availability and reliability of power in addition to quick information dissemination and providing knowledge of power dispatched per feeder & transformer.

The SCADA system will also be a 24-hour one-stop customer service information center and at the same time provide a platform for integrated customer service systems, says an information pack provided from UMEME.

(Source: The New vision)