ABB (Zurich, Switzerland) has signed a $25 million contract with Kenya Power & Lighting Co. (KPLC) to upgrade and expand the system that controls Kenya's power transmission network and the distribution network in the capital city of Nairobi.

ABB supplied the original supervisory control and data acquisition/energy management system (SCADA/EMS) system 20 years ago and has been the major supplier of utility communication equipment to KPLC over the last 30 years.

The control system will comprise five control centers, in Nairobi and around the country, equipped with redundant computer systems and ABB Network Manager SCADA/EMS software for the operation, control, analysis and enhancement of the electrical network, and for power-generation management.

To enable the reliable operation of the control system, the centers will be linked to more than 90 substations and power stations by more than 1300 km (808 miles) of optical ground wire, ABB FOX 515 multiplexers and ABB ETL 600 digital power-line carrier and radio communications.

Maintaining power delivery as load increases in the morning, keeping it within security limits during daily peaks and managing load decreases at night are just some of the tasks the control system will perform. During unplanned disturbances, preparedness is vital in order to avoid large-scale outages, make rapid analysis and re-establish power supply.