Huawei Introduces eLTE Solution for Hydro-Electric Power Producers

Huawei has unveiled a specialized information and communication technology solution designed specifically for the hydro-electric power generation industry. The solution, called Evolved Long Term Evolution [eLTE] Private Broadband Network, is an intelligent energy management system aimed at enhancing power generation, power plant operations, and power distribution.

According to Huawei Kenya CEO Will Meng, Huawei’s eLTE Broadband Network penetrates thick concrete walls, ensuring essential communication and operational management services throughout the entire company. The network enables voice, video, and data services above and below ground, facilitating instant communication between the control room and maintenance staff. It offers comprehensive coverage of indoor and outdoor working areas, including dam roadways, generator rooms, and employee living areas, without the need for extensive cabling and installation. This reduces delays and provides certainty regarding the plant’s status.

The BPA floating solar power plant in Bui.

The private network offers features such as “push-to-talk” and group calls for voice and video, enhancing routine maintenance and emergency response at the power plant. Meng emphasized that the network allows staff to address maintenance challenges promptly through video calls, while also providing scalability for future intelligent digital transformations of the site.

The importance of clean energy in the national energy mix is growing, particularly in Kenya, where hydro power contributes 57%, thermal power 32%, and geothermal and emergency thermal power make up the remainder. Solar PV and wind power play a minor role, accounting for 2% of the energy mix. With Kenya’s building stock projected to reach approximately 47 million square meters by 2025, accompanied by a rise in electricity demand from the construction sector, renewable energy is expected to play a significant role in meeting these needs by 2030. Innovations like Huawei’s eLTE solution enable hydropower producers like KenGen to efficiently manage and distribute power to meet the increasing demand in a more reliable and cost-effective manner.

The eLTE solution has undergone testing in Ghana for the Bui Power Authority (BPA), which operates a hybrid hydropower and solar plant. BPA recently commissioned a 5MW Floating Solar Plant, the first of its kind in the Sub-Saharan region. The power generated by the hydroelectric plant amounts to 404MW, while an additional 50MW is generated by the solar installations on site. Together, these renewable sources contribute around 6-7% of Ghana’s total power generation.

Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Ghana’s Energy Minister, spoke during the commissioning of Huawei’s eLTE system, highlighting the importance of leveraging ICT to optimize power plant operations, improve renewable energy efficiency, and ensure stable and cost-effective electricity supply. With Ghana striving to achieve universal electricity access by 2025, he emphasized the need to replicate such practices across the continent as other African countries increase their reliance on renewable energy sources.

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