Lucy Electric, a leader in medium voltage, secondary power distribution solutions, has recently installed Kenya’s first 11KV distribution automation system for Kenya Power, Kenya’s national power distributor, which has reduced average customer interruptions from 2 hours to just 20 seconds.

The project, which was undertaken as part of the country’s wider infrastructure development programme, will be showcased in a presentation by Eng. Samuel Ndirangu of Kenya Power during the African Utility Week conference 11 – 13th May 2014, CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa.

Previously Kenya’s Coastal Region, which includes Mombasa, the second largest city in Kenya, regularly suffered from blackouts. Faults could take up to two hours to locate and fix, significantly impacting Kenya Power customers and affecting economic development in the area. To address this, Kenya Power decided to upgrade the distribution network and fully automate the infrastructure to improve overall energy efficiency and reduce power outages.

Lucy Electric was appointed to design and deliver a bespoke automation system for both the overhead and ground-mounted 11KV and 33KV electrical distribution network. The turnkey solution included end-to-end design, manufacture, delivery and installation of equipment, and the development of a tailor-made training programme for Kenya Power technicians to ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of the new systems following the project handover.

As a result of the project, average power interruptions in the area have been reduced to 20 seconds and planned outages have been reduced from 2 – 3 hours to 2 – 5 minutes. In total the distribution automation system (DAS) covers over 1,600 square kilometres, vastly improving the local power network.

Commenting on the project Eng. Samuel Ndirangu of Kenya Power said: “We chose Lucy Electric to be our partners for this project because of their proven ability to provide industry leading products and service. Lucy Electric’s determination to provide excellent customer support both locally and remotely, through the automation design team, far exceeded the levels of value and customer service that Kenya Power has had in the past. As a result, their automation system has given us greater control and awareness of our network which has meant that we will be able to offer a more reliable service to customers.

Lucy Electricr’s technology and ability to deliver bespoke solutions have ensured Mombasa has an electrical system that will meet the region’s needs for years to come.”

Lucy Electric’s Regional Director, Rick St John, added: “Electricity consumption in Africa is growing rapidly. Currently Africa represents only 3% of global electrical consumption, but by 2020 electrical consumption in Africa will have increased by 60%. Smart Grid automation can be a game changer in addressing  electricity distribution challenges in Africa as this case study shows.

“As specialists in high performance, medium voltage switchgear, with 200 years industry experience, customers can choose to partner with Lucy Electric with confidence. We have a proven track record and are able to provide a full range of products and services from specialist switchgear to complete bespoke turnkey solutions, helping distribution network operators address the challenges of rapidly growing demand in Africa.”

More details about the case study are also available from Lucy Electric’s stand (F16) at African Utility Week Exhibition, 11 – 13th May 2014, CTICC, Cape Town, South Africa.