The biannual CIGRE Southern Africa Regional Conference is a major event for power sector professionals, taking place from 24-27 October.
The conference promises to inspire attendees with a series of informative sessions aimed at addressing critical issues facing the industry. The conference, hosted at the CSIR International Convention Center in Pretoria, will bring together leading experts from the Southern African region and around the world who will share their expertise and research findings to advance the field.
The event begins with a day-long tutorial diving straight into the following topics:
Tutorial 1: Wildfire Risk Mitigation and Grid Stability
The first tutorial, led by Andreas Beutel from EskomSouth Africa, is looking at the crucial topic of mitigating the risk of forest fires near overhead power lines.
Beutel’s presentation will highlight the challenges posed by high wildfire risk environments, emphasizing the need for distribution utilities to prevent wildfires and transmission utilities to protect their lines. The study introduces the Prevent, Prepare, Respond, Recover (PPRR) emergency management framework as a valuable tool for public services.
Tutorial 2: Low-Cost Substation Design for Developing Countries
The second tutorial, presented by Theuns Marais and Philip Koenig from Eskom and Eys Bantu Professional Services respectively, features the TB 740 technical brochure, focused on cost-effective substation design.
This comprehensive guide draws on international surveys and feedback from African utilities to streamline the substation design process. It encompasses aspects such as design philosophy, asset management, equipment selection, safety and environmental considerations, promising to be informative for all levels of professional engineers in the industry.
Tutorial 3: Wildlife interactions with electrical infrastructure
Rudi Kruger from Eskom, South Africa, will lead the third tutorial, addressing the crucial issue of wildlife interactions with electricity infrastructure.
Kruger will discuss the impact of birds and other wildlife on power lines and substations, emphasizing the importance of mitigation measures to protect avian populations. The tutorial will highlight the collaborative efforts of CIGRE Wildlife and Power Infrastructure Working Group and the resulting technical brochure TB 876.
The themes of the CIGRE conference in Southern Africa are topical
A highlight of the conference will be the panel discussion on the effect of inverter-based resources on the Southern African grid, chaired by Jana Breedt from Eskom, South Africa, which will close the first day.
The discussion will focus on the challenges posed by inverter-based energy resources and their impact on system performance and stability. As South Africa transitions to cleaner energy sources, the formation of networks inverters will be highlighted as a potential solution, but panelists will discuss critical aspects against over-reliance, among other key topics. The panel presented ideas from Eskom, IPPs and global perspectives, fostering an in-depth discussion on the future of Southern Africa’s power grid.
The conference continues on the second day with the keynote address delivered by Isabel Fick, Managing Director, System Operator, Eskom, South Africa. Days 2 and 3 will feature peer-reviewed conference papers featuring a diverse range of sessions, fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange among industry leaders.
Day four concludes with a half-day rotating technical tour of several of the CSIR laboratories and facilities, including the Photovoltaic Test Lab, Indoor Energy Storage Test Bed Lab, and Virtual Security Operations Center.
Among the wealth of knowledge to be discovered during the conference, let’s also meet and network during the welcome drink on Tuesday October 24 and the gala cocktail on October 25!
ESI Africa is proud to be a media partner of the 11th CIGRE Southern Africa Regional Conference.