Loads on the Power Grid Surge to an Unprecedented Peak During Hajj 2023

Electric loads increased during Hajj season 2023, and registered a new historic record, compared to previous years. Saudi Electricity Co (SEC), the licensed service provider in the KSA, reported that the power load reached unprecedented peak in Makkah and the holy sites during the Hajj season: 

During the Day of At-Tarwiyah, the electric load reached its peak at 4,154 MW in Makkah, and 315 MW in Mina, whereas it increased up to 31 MW and 352 MW in Muzdalifah and Arafah respectively.

On the day of Arafah, the power load reached 3,711 MW in Makkah, and 264 MW in Mina, whereas it reached 31 MW and 376 MW in Muzdalifah and Arafah respectively.

During the Day of Eid al-Adha, the electric load reached 4,129 MW in Makkah, and 311 MW in Mina, whereas it reached 30 MW and 187 MW in Muzdalifah and Arafah respectively.

On the 2nd Day of Eid al-Adha, the electric load reached up 3,869 MW in Makkah, and 315 MW in Mina, whereas it reached 30 MW and 125 MW in Muzdalifah and Arafah respectively.

SEC was able to meet these loads according to the highest standards of reliability without registering any significant outages and blackouts for the benefit of the Hajj pilgrims, or in cases of emergency in Makkah and the holy sites, through several pillars that SEC relied upon to carry out notably the Power Distribution Network Reinforcement Projects, for this year’s Hajj season 2023, for an overall cost exceeding SR 1 billion. It also includes the setting up of 100 electric power transmission and distribution plants, power grid interconnections with a wide array of cable loads whose length exceeds 206 Ckt.kms, and an automation of electric distribution networks in the holy sites.

SEC completed the preparations for over 93 starting points deployed around the holy sites to facilitate the arrival of maintenance and emergency engineers and technicians to the affected sites if necessary.

The team dedicated to electrical services for Hajj this year included over 2123 employees from various technical and engineering, administrative and support disciplines to operate around the clock or 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, with a core focus on the completion of all scheduled and preventive maintenance for all components of the power grid before the start of the season, which exceeded 32,716 operations, in conjunction with the relevant authorities, according to the Preparedness Plan to ensure the delivery of electrical service for the Hajj season, under the supervision, support and direct follow-up from His Royal Highness the Minister of Energy (MoE).

With regard to the Distribution automation (DA), SEC has finalized the automation of all distribution power grids and meters and replaced them with smart stations with a view to enhancing standards of reliability and scaling up operational grid excellence by detecting and carrying out a swift handling of power failures and disruptions, remote monitoring and control of smart grid power, and the capability to ensure continuous data collection and analysis. These smart stations allow better manage power outages and restoration events as well as reduce outage duration in less than 3 minutes.

In this year, SEC also launched the firefighting robot technology, the first of its kind in the Middle East. It enhances the safety system to prevent fires and the swift response to fire accidents.

The firefighting robot has various features such as water flow rate of 4,700 liters per minute at 16 bars. The water jet reaches up to 80 meters, with a remote control distance of 300 meters to protect lives while extinguishing fires, and supported by a Firefighter Helmet Front Shield to remove and overcome obstacles up to a weight of 3.8 tons.

The cutting-edge technology included the Rapid Intervention Vehicle (RIV) that uses forcible entry into structures by using tools to open any closed door using hydraulic scissors. This technology has a water pump rotating in all directions and it has a range of over 65 meters, and RIV can accommodate 4 firefighters with a speed of 200 km per hour and it has two respirators.

In a previous press statement, SEC stated that despite the high rates of electricity consumption during the Hajj season, the available capacities at the holy sites in Makkah and Madinah amounted to about 21,646 megawattsThe electrical network in Makkah was strengthened to meet the expected electric load with capacities of 100 MVA, which is the largest annual addition to be implemented so far.

In its ongoing endeavor, SEC seeks to provide electrical service with a high degree of reliable and efficient performance for Hajj pilgrims, under the supervision and follow-up of the Ministry of Energy, with a core focus on strengthening the power grid in Makkah and the holy sites to meet the expected load for each year in the Hajj season, ensuring the supply of Electrical service while maintaining standards of high reliability and efficiency in the holy sites, in a manner befitting the stature of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the aspirations of the pilgrims.

Media Contact
Company Name: Saudi Electricity Company
Contact Person: Faisal AlOtaibi
Email: Send Email
City: Riyadh
Country: Saudi Arabia
Website: www.se.com.sa