SENEGAL – GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business recently commissioned the first ever fully digital high voltage substation on the African continent in Thiès, 70 km from Dakar in Senegal.

This key 225 kV substation project is part of Senegal’s national electricity company Senelec’s transmission and distribution grid expansion, reinforcement and reliability enhancement program to be completed by VINCI Energies West Africa.

“This flagship project was made possible due to the robust synergy among VINCI Energies West Africa teams, the technical support of our team Omexom and the digital expertise of GE’s Grid Solutions,” said Wassel Bouaouda, VINCI Energies.

“This first ever digital substation on the continent is a great example of how to successfully combine the ongoing energy transition with a needed digital transformation to make the Senegalese electricity network more reliable and efficient.”

Grid’s digital substation brings the flexibility of software-based applications, resulting in more opportunities for remote maintenance and upgrades.

It also opens the door to a more secure and efficient exchange of data between multiple devices. The advantages are that real-time data can be analyzed to optimize asset use and maximize system reliability.

Such advantages are crucial for substations – not only to supply electricity to the homes, but also to manage the power flowing into the grid from various renewable energy sources.

“A digital substation’s advanced functionalities with its footprint reduced by up to 50% as well as accelerated deployment are a key enabler of the energy transition,” Eric Amoussouga, Sales Director, GE’s Grid Solutions Business, Sub-Saharan Africa, said.

“Moreover, by replacing the copper cables with fiber-optic cables – which do not conduct electricity, this makes it safer for workers during maintenance activities. We are proud to have commissioned the first ever fully digital substation in Africa, contributing to the increased reliability of Senegal’s electricity grid.”

The project contract signed between GE and VINCI Energies in 2018 included the delivery, commissioning, installation and the supervision of GE’s Grid Solutions digital substation, panels, digital control system, current transducer optic and voltage transducer optic.