The Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) signed a smart grid development agreement with Huawei and the China Electric Power Equipment and Technology (CET).Under the agreement, the two Chinese firms will help EEU to upgrade its grid system through implementation of smart grid technologies.
Following the signing of the agreement, CET and Huawei donated smart grid technologies under a pilot project conducted in partnership with EEU.
According to a local publication, EEU, CET and Huawei will continue with research, development, testing and implementation of smart grid solutions to boost EEU grid network.
The signed agreement aims to increase the adoption of smart grid solutions in Ethiopia and help utility firms optimise their operations.
Ni Zheng, vice president of Huawei in North Africa, said their partnership with CET will help EEU to improve its revenue collection by reducing its transmission and distribution losses through real-time management of its grid network.
The smart grid agreement is expected to help EEU improve its accuracy in metering and billing consumers by introducing smart meters in utility’s grid system.
[quote] The smart grid projects are also expected to help the Ethiopian utility to improve its customer service by providing customers with affordable and reliable energy.
The cooperation of the three parties will help in ensuring Ethiopia achieve targets set under the country’s Second Growth and Transformation Plan, which aims to improve the country’s grid network over the next five years.
The Plan aims to improve consumers’ access to electricity and help the country grid reliability to meet growing power demands due to an increase in population and industrial activities.
A smart grid in Ethiopia will also help Kenya, Uganda and South Sudan reduce power outages and improve their economies by interconnecting their grid networks with Ethiopia’s.
Smart grid solutions
The news follows last month's announcement by Huawei that it partnered with South African telecommunications firm MTN to launch a smart water metering solution to help utilities optimise their operations by automating collection of meter data and management of their water distribution networks.
The launched smart water solution will be commercially deployed in 2017 and is the first water metering technology using narrowband IoT connectivity in Africa.
The new smart water metering technology will provide utilities will real-time management of their networks and help in reducing operational and non-revenue expenses through quick identification of water leakages and assets failures. [Huawei unveils new AMI solution at Africa event].
Jacky Chen, managing director of Huawei MTN Key Account Group, said: “The number of cellular IoT connections in Africa will grow seven-fold over the next three to four years and NB-IoT will be a key driver for this trend.”
It is expected that the number of cellular IoT connections needed in Africa will reach 450 million by 2020.
Image credit: www.cnbcafrica.com.