Schneider Electric and US-headquartered Cisco are collaborating to build the largest smart grid in Egypt that will utilise artificial intelligence and internet of things technology to manage and support the integration of traditional and renewable energy sources.
France-headquartered Schneider Electric signed the contract, with the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, to build and transform four control centres for Egypt’s national grid, in 2020. It is part of a wider strategy to create a world-class smart grid network to support the country’s long-term energy needs. Egypt’s Vision 2030 development strategy aims to achieve a diversified and sustainable economy.
“This project supports the Egyptian government’s development aspirations,” said Ayman Elgohary, Managing Director, Egypt, Cisco. “With Schneider Electric, Cisco will help realise Egypt’s vision of integrating sustainable power into its energy mix and becoming an energy hub in the region.”
The government recognises the scale of Egypt’s potential energy sources, and the national Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy (ISES) 2035 envisions renewable energy sources contributing 42 percent of the country’s power capacity by 2035. A smart grid that can integrate both traditional and renewable energy sources is integral to safeguarding Egypt’s energy future, a statement from the companies said.
As part of the contract, Schneider Electric will install network control centres and 4,000 smart ring main units to detect and resolve network faults to ensure energy availability and stability. Cisco will supply the IP and security infrastructure, including Cisco routers, switches and a variety of cyber security equipment and tools such as the Cisco Secure Firewall and Cisco Secure Network Analytics (formerly Stealthwatch). On site, the grid will be equipped with Cisco IR1101 5G-ready industrial routers to support efficient and secure communication with the control centres.
“Egypt’s smart grid is a testament to what the latest technologies can achieve, and that is in part thanks to collaboration between companies who are at the forefront of information technology and operational technology,” said Sebastien Riez, Regional Cluster President of Egypt, North East Africa and Levant at Schneider Electric. “This convergence is going to lead to countless breakthroughs in the energy space, thanks to how we will be able to detect, react and predict changes in electricity usage. Data and digital communications are key to how a smart grid operates, and this collaboration will show how much both IT and OT are needed to transform our electricity systems.”