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Ecuador’s national electricity operator CENACE is awarded $600,000 to support the upgrading of its control centre to improve management of the network.

The technical assistance grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) was made to finance studies to update CENACE’s real-time supervision and control platform. Goals include improving the operation of the network and improving the stability and reliability of supply.

The upgrades also should help the country meet its forecast long term growth in power demand. In addition, to incorporate and manage growing levels of large scale renewables and distributed resources such as energy storage and electric vehicles.

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“The project will improve the performance of CENACE’s technical-commercial processes to guarantee a continuous, safe and quality supply,” said René Ortiz, minister of energy and non-renewable natural resources.

The award was made under the US ‘América Crece’ (Growth in the Americas) initiative, which aims to support economic development through private sector investment in energy infrastructure projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Other issues the funding and upgrading will support include advanced real-time metering, a 500kV interconnection between Ecuador and Peru, interconnection with the Petroleum Electricity System and the country’s active participation in the Colombia-Ecuador-Peru-Bolivia-Chile regional electricity market.

“This commitment between governments and the private sector will ensure that Ecuador receives objective advice on updating its electricity distribution controls to meet the growing demands in an increasingly complex and threatening technological landscape,” promised US ambassador to Ecuador, Michael J Fitzpatrick.

USTDA assistance is open to US companies.