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US smart tech to improve grid in Brazil

S&C Electric’s smart grid switchgear technology to improve power reliability in Minas Gerais

S&C Electric’s smart technology aims to improve grid reliability in Brazil

US smart technology is being used to improve grid reliability in Brazil. Chicago smart grid firm S&C Electric will use its smart grid technology to replace underground distribution switchgear at Cemig Distribuição SA, the largest energy distribution company in the BRIC country.

Cemig will install more than 450 S&C Vista Underground Distribution Switchgear line-ups in cities across the state of Minas Gerais, including the metropolitan area of Belo Horizonte.

S&C Electric has been awarded USD 38.5m to replace the switchgear. The switchgear replacement is part of a major asset renewal programme at Cemig, which will result in modern, smart-grid functionality for local business and the 18 million people it serves. Modernising the area’s grid will improve power reliability and grid efficiency.

Cleverson Takiguchi, general manager of S&C Electric do Brazil, said: “By replacing aging switchgear with automated equipment, Cemig is taking major steps to enhance electric service reliability, which is important not only for a successful tournament, but also to support broader economic growth in the area.”

The automated switchgear will transfer an electric power load to an alternate electricity source in the event of a disruption to the primary source. This enhanced level of automation will help significantly reduce power outages, a chief concern in Minas Gerais. In addition, the local content of the order is over 70 per cent, which results in most of the revenue stream staying within the country.

“Reliable electric service is an ongoing issue in this area, which is experiencing positive economic growth and global attention,” said Takiguchi. “Smart grid investments such as this programme can help Cemig keep the lights on for businesses and residents alike.”

The news from S&C reflects the trend of US companies that are helping to develop smart grids in Brazil. On 23 October, Californian firm Silver Spring Networks unveiled a series of smart grid solutions for the BRIC country.