TechInAfrica – Tunisia has secured a US$131.7 million fund from the French Development Agency (FDA) to kick off its smart grid project. The fund is in a loan which will be repaid over 20 years of period with a grace period of up to 7 years. It’s part of the Tunisian government’s efforts to build an energy switching to reduce cost and enhance operational efficiency.
The project will be run by the Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas (STEG). It was first announced the smart grid two years ago along with its plan to connect the country by 2023. However, the plan was delayed due to the lack of funds.
Last year, during the Africa Smart Grid Summit held in Tunis, the company revealed its plan to open an international tender in the first quarter of 2019 to begin the smart grid project.
According to STEG, the funds from AFD will be used to implement the first phase of the project. It will involve development control and communication stations and the improvement of infrastructure. Included in the first phase is the installation of 430,000 “smart” meters over three years in Sfax governance in southern Tunisia with 330,000 residents. It will be installed in houses and businesses. Meanwhile, the second phase of the project will be extended to other residences in Tunisia.
The project enables STEG to monitor consumption patterns, detect abuses, as well as monitor the power supply remotely. Through the smart grid, the company can better estimate and charge electricity consumption. Moreover, it will ensure both sides—suppliers and consumers—are trustful.
Cited from pumps-africa.com, Tunisian Minister, Slim Ferani said: “The smart grid will change the face of the energy system towards the use of renewable energies.”
The smart grid project aligns with the country’s national goal of getting 30% of the nation’s electricity from renewable sources by 2025.