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EEC Engie Deploys Schneider Electric's New Medium Voltage SF6-Free Switchgear Technology

SF6-free MV R&D project is co-funded by the EU’s LIFE program

New green and digital electrical distribution equipment helps the utility meet environmental challenges. Schneider’s technology uses pure air insulation and vacuum interruption to eliminate the use of the SF6 greenhouse gas. EcoStruxureTM for Electricity Companies helps ensure business continuity through connected electrical equipment and sensors.

Rueil-Malmaison (France), December 9, 2019 – Schneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, announces a new pilot project with EEC Engie, an electric utility in New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands. Pursuing their ambition to remove SF6 switchgear installed on their networks, EEC Engie turned to the new SF6-free technology from Schneider Electric.

When innovation serves sustainability

EEC Engie serves nearly 66,000 electricity customers in Grande Terre and the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia. The company is eager to reduce its environmental footprint by removing SF6 switchgear installed on its network. EEC Engie chose Schneider Electric's new SF6-free solution, which combines vacuum interruption and pure air insulation in a smart design. Schneider Electric has deployed this new switching technology in the capital, Nouméa, in a substation also equipped with the Easergy T300 remote terminal unit for feeder automation and the new connected Vegeta transformer that uses biodegradable vegetable oil.

"We have a zero-carbon transition at the heart of our strategy and our role is to provide solutions to businesses and communities to help them reduce their carbon footprint. We are therefore developing or identifying new carbon-free solutions. For our medium-voltage electrical equipment, the opportunity to integrate brand-new SF6-free technology is part of our pioneering DNA," said Olivier Turc, Head of Innovation, Engie France Réseaux.

"Recycling SF6 is complicated in New Caledonia. That's why we asked how to avoid this gas in the switchgear installed on our network. We were looking for a greener and easy-to-use solution that no longer uses SF6. In this context, Schneider Electric, with whom we have already collaborated and who is well established in this area, is the ideal partner. In addition, these new units have the same size and connection as the existing equipment, so there is no change of operation for our teams," said Dominique Roecker, Purchasing Manager, Energy Clusters at EEC ENGIE.

Digitization: The keystone of service continuity

Reliability, service continuity, and network security are at the core of the electricity company’s concerns. EEC Engie goes even further with Schneider’s EcoStruxure for Electricity Companies. EcoStruxure’s connected equipment and sensors allow for better network management as well as the measurement of temperature, humidity, and intrusions for faster interventions. Information from sensors and equipment is collected, processed, analyzed, and transmitted. In this context, electricity companies can operate and remotely manage electrical installations and improve network reliability. EEC Engie has a solution allowing it to remotely monitor the substation for better service continuity for the inhabitants of Nouméa.

"We are delighted to collaborate with EEC Engie through this pilot project in New Caledonia, which is a real technological and human success. The EEC Engie and Schneider Electric teams have worked hand-in-hand and we are proud of this great cooperation. EEC Engie now has a fully green and digital solution. At Schneider Electric, we are convinced that the best gas is air, and we are eager to provide green energy players with green and sustainable solutions that meet environmental challenges. That's why we have developed our new SF6-free technology, which represents an ideal alternative to traditional solutions," said Philippe Dupont, French Pacific Islands area manager at Schneider Electric.

Smart design delivers green and digital medium voltage innovation.

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