In Africa, utility firm Kenya Power announced its plans to invest $2.17 billion toward improving its grid infrastructure through to 2021.The grid infrastructure funding will be used to implement projects to ensure Kenya Power is able to supply adequate and affordable electricity to its growing customer base.
Currently, the utility has a customer base of 4.8 million consumers who are anticipated to reach 10.8 million by 2021.
The funds will be used to boost the utility’s energy generation, transmission and distribution systems.
Apart from ensuring adequate energy supply to its customers, Kenya Power will deploy energy efficiency and energy management initiatives to ensure it reduces technical power losses to ensure grid reliability.
The energy company highlighted its plans to install 2.8 million smart meters to accurately bill its customers and pave way for smart meter-enabled demand response and energy efficiency programmes.
The utility says it will use the budget to procure 2,725MW of energy, install 52 new primary sub-stations, 1,000 distribution substations and about 16,000 km of power lines.
The firm will replace existing streetlights with energy-efficient LED streetlights, refurbish 70 substations and connect 1.2 million customers every year until 2021.
Smart grid infrastructure funding
The news follows an announcement made by Kenya Power in early May, that it has decided to connect large power consumers to outdoor smart meters in a bid to improve revenue collection and boost efficiency.
The utility said it has plans to install 5,600 outdoor smart meters near customer premises, estimated to cost Sh3.2 billion ($31,665,376).
The smart meters will be fixed atop a pole to ease access by utility staff during the reading and inspection of meters.
Commenting on the outdoor metering project, Kenya Power’s acting general manager for customer service, Rosemary Oduor, said: “Outdoor metering is expected to streamline operations and consequently enhance revenue collection from electricity sales.”
The smart meters will support two-way communications between the Nairobi-based utility and the meters, enabling real-time monitoring of energy consumption. This gives Kenya Power the ability to detect any oddity in supply. More than half of Kenya’s revenue from electricity sales comes from large power users. The utility has installed 4,426 outdoor meters near customers’ premises thus far. [UK bank helps Kenyan smart metering firm improve operations].
The smart meters will assist Kenya Power to perform remote meter readings, disconnect and reconnect meters remotely.
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