Schneider Electric, which deals in digital transformation of energy management and automation, has unveiled the latest version of its award-winning software –EcoStruxure – in East Africa.
The software was launched recently during the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum & Expo held at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.
The three-day event was organised by the Global Off Grid Lighting Association.
Schneider Electric’s new software aims at providing a comprehensive metering, analytics and reporting solutions for microgrid projects.
Microgrid projects are useful alternatives, especially in rural areas where people have no access to electricity from the national grid.
The number of microgrid projects is growing fast due to the need to offer a better life to people living in remote areas. This has also been driven by the need to promote sustainable agriculture.
Schneider Electric is a leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation.
With its recently unveiled EcoStruxure software, the organisation is helping rural communities to maximise efficiency and profitability.
Using data-driven analysis, the system offers customers an affordable, flexible and open architecture and platform that improves profitability and efficiency of off-grid installations.
“The unveiled Schneider Electric EcoStruxure™ for Energy Access is the latest addition to the offerings from Schneider Electric’s access to energy programme. It will scale-up sustainable off-grid electrification,” says Schneider Electric’s Olivier Jacquet, the vice-president for the access to energy programme in the Middle East and Africa.
EcoStruxure has built on Schneider Electric’s Villaya range of affordable solar products including lanterns, street lights, water pumps, home systems, containerised mobile solar emergency and community microgrid solutions.
Villaya is an off-grid solar power system.
It helps in monitoring site performance and reports on end user load balance and energy credit in real time, while giving trend data to improve operational efficiency.
Schneider Electric seeks to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its core business and its five sustainability megatrends of climate, circular economy, ethics, health and equity and development.
“At Schneider Electric, our role is to make sure that ‘life is on’ for everyone, everywhere and at every moment. As such, sustainability is at the heart of our company’s strategy,” says the company’s East Africa General Manager Edouard Heripret.
Through its access to energy programme, Schneider Electric seeks to play a major role in helping underserved people to gain access to electricity.
ENERGY ACCESS SOLUTIONS
Between 2009 and 2019, the company has provided energy access solutions to more than 25 million people, invested in 20 companies, trained more than 250,000 people and supported more than 700 entrepreneurs.
It aims to have 80 million people connected to electricity by 2030.
The company also aims at ensure that at least one million people trained and 10,000 entrepreneurs are supported by 2025.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) 2017 World Energy Access Outlook, microgrids are the most cost-effective way of expanding energy access in remote areas.
IEA also predicts that by 2030, between 30 per cent and 40 per cent of people in developing countries will be powered by microgrids fuelled by renewable energy sources such as solar.
But the available energy – at least initially – only allows access to basic services such as mobile phone charging and LED lighting while end-users often earn less than one US dollar a day.
Precise load management and metering, as well as real-time monitoring and analytics, are needed in order to maximise the efficiency of these projects and to guarantee that they can thrive and grow.
In Uganda, Schneider Electric EcoStruxure has already been demonstrated on a Villaya micro-grid project in partnership with a global non-profit organisation Mercy Corps at their field office in Kaabong, north east Uganda.
Kaabong is a semi-arid region where many households have no electricity, instead relying mainly on kerosene lamps for lighting.
Due to unreliable electricity, Mercy Corps’ operations were hampered by an erratic power supply, forcing the organisation to use generators which added to its expenses.
The Villaya microgrid which was installed in Kaabong was designed and built to withstand harsh conditions for many years.
Together with a remote monitoring solution, the system will be able to provide both real time and historical data for analysis and trouble-shooting.
The microgrid is now providing reliable, clean and safe energy to Mercy Corps’ office at a cost of USD2,000 per month.
The project has ensured zero carbon emissions in Kaabong since its installation.
The Schneider Electric EcoStruxure platform gives both Mercy Corps and Schneider Electric a clear view of real-time and historical microgrid performance, energy consumption and reporting analytics, allowing pro-active financial and operations planning to be carried out. This has led to a high degree of autonomy and overall peace of mind.
About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.