Sao Paulo’s Grid Upgrade

Sao Paulo’s power grid is getting an upgrade so that utilities can meet their energy goals.
Published: Wed 07 May 2014

Brazil’s power grid is buckling under the pressure caused by its growing manufacturing industries and fluctuating temperatures.

The increase in electricity consumption and demand is placing a significant amount of pressure on the grid which is causing transmission line and maintenance issues which are growing in frequency.

Hot, hot, hot

People with air conditioning have driven nationwide energy consumption through the roof. The strong demand, which is being met partly through increased use of thermoelectric power, means that spot energy prices are set to double in coming days to record levels beyond 800 reais ($326.50) per kilowatt-hour.

Those prices could trickle down to energy bills for customers and factories - a threat to economic growth already expected to be only 2% this year.

Energy consumption is expected to remain high - the national grid operator estimated a 7.1% increase of power consumption in February this year compared with the same time last year.

High efficiency and quality

In response, General Electric’s Digital Energy business is providing Furnas and Triangulo Mineiro Transmissora (TMT)/Geoenergia with the latest in protection and control equipment. This is to ensure high-efficiency performance and quality for each of the utility’s grid modernization projects.

Furnas is one of the biggest utilities in Latin America and is responsible for power transmission in south, southeast and mid west Brazil.

These projects, which support the modernization of Brazil’s grid, mark General Electric’s inaugural entry into Brazil’s ANEEL transmission auctions. The auctions were won in December 2013 by TMT—a collaborative utility composed of Furnas and FIP Milão, with Furnas being the largest participant at 49%. TMT is leading the construction and installation of the new transmission line.

GE’s Digital Energy business will support the project by providing protection, control and communications systems, offering the latest in grid modernization technology. The project includes engineering, configuration, panels and factory and site-acceptance tests, as well as training for substation engineers to ensure reliable operation.

Innovative solutions

Transmission line auctions are key to the future of Brazil’s utility sector, with utilities looking for innovative solutions to modernize their grids and to ensure that efficient, reliable power can be delivered to metro areas.

The project will help Brazil’s utility sector to improve the reliability of the grid, as well as provide power to regions that are experiencing exponential growth.

General Electric s providing its full range of solutions—from commissioning to installation to retroactive services.

These improvements will help Brazilian utilities meet their energy goals.