KETRACO: Mobile Substations and Digitalisation Will End Power Blackouts

KETRACO looking into Mobile substations

Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (KETRACO) aims to make blackouts a thing of the past. The power transmitter is planning to introduce transportable power transformers to achieve this feat.

We also want to take this country to a state of zero electricity interruption by the use of mobile transformers. It will be a matter of transporting the mobile transformers and just plugging and playing.” Stated  Dr. (Eng.) John Mativo, CE – Managing Director and CEO of KETRACO.

Mobile substations are a type of power distribution system. The power stations can be quickly relocated and set up. Primarily, the movable transformers provide emergency power supply to an area where the main grid is unavailable or damaged.

Mobile Substation

Further, KETRACO is working to strengthen the country’s power system. The electricity transmitter is currently running system strengthening and capacity enhancement projects. Basically, the aim is to ensure Kenya’s electric transmission runs on the base level of resources required for the system functionality and a single backup (N-1 Concept).

When this is achieved, “there will be absolutely no interruption of electricity when a fault occurs at any point.” added Dr. (Eng.) Mativo.

KETRACO Nairobi Ring project

One such project is the Nairobi Ring project. This project involves the set up of a 103 KM 400kV double circuit line from the Suswa substation to the Isinya substation rated at 1200MW. Further, the construction of two 220kV substations at Suswa and Isinya as well as 220/66kV substations at Kimuka, Athi River, and Komarock.

This will offer an alternative supply path for power into the Nairobi Metropolitan region. Secondly, it will increase transformation capacity removing the load from the existing overloaded substations.

Commissioned in 2019, the Nairobi Ring project is funded by Agence Francaise de Développement (AFD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the Government of Kenya (GoK).

Remotely Managed Substations

Kenya is in a digitalisation wave and the power transmitter is not to be left behind. Currently, KETRACO is working on an Asset Performance Management System (APMS) under the National System Control Centre Project.

The APMS will help reduce blackouts as it will enhance the maintenance of transmission assets. Secondly, it will improve asset availability and increase the life span of infrastructure. With the implementation of the system, KETRACO will be able to manage substations remotely.

Speaking to The ENERGY POST, Dr. (Eng.) Mativo said the Makindu Substation will be the first digital substation.

The Operations team will run this substation remotely and you will experience a stable and reliable network like never before,” said the CEO.

Dr. (Eng.) Mativo believes implementing the latest technology and automation will give Kenyans sufficient electricity spurring economic growth.