Transmission of Electricity

Transmission, the network between Generation and Distribution, is divided into four sections: Metering, Protection, Substations, and Transmission Lines. Substations will step up voltage from Generation units to higher voltages for power transmission for long distances. Transmission is defined by high voltage (from 33kV upwards, at which EEC has 66kV, 132kV and 400kV transmission voltages).

  1. Step Up Substations: 3.3kV to 66kV, 11kV to 66kV, e.g., Maguga Substation steps up from 11/66kV
  2. Step down Substations: 400kV to 132kV, 132kV to 11kV, 132kV to 66kV to 11kV, 66kV to 11kV e.g., Mkinkomo substation steps down from 132/11kV, Nhlangano II substation steps down 132/66/11kV
  3. There are about 58 commissioned substations in the Kingdom of Eswatini

The transmission lines that link substations are rated differently depending on the substations requirements.

  1. 400kV Lines: Camden – Edwaleni II 400kV and Edwaleni II – Maputo 400kV
  2. 132kV Lines e.g., Edwaleni II – Mkinkomo 132kV, Matsapha – Thompson 66kV and many more
  3. There are about 72 commissioned transmission lines in the Kingdom of Eswatini

The main and critical infrastructure at Transmission are transmission lines, transformers, breakers, busbars, and isolators, operating personnel. This infrastructure is also very expensive and requires protection from faulty conditions. This is where the Protection section comes to play a vital role of protecting the infrastructure from faulty conditions which can cause major damages to the infrastructure. The faulty conditions can also cause power blackouts within the Kingdom of Eswatini, the Protection section is responsible for minimizing or isolating these conditions before major damages.

The step down substations then feed to Distribution network which then electrify homesteads or businesses at a certain voltage required by the customer. To ensure EEC always supplies the required voltage to customers (being Distribution for Transmission), Metering section becomes more critical to ensure quality of supply. The quality of supply is regulated within the country and EEC always has to keep data proving compliance to regulation. EEC also procures and sells electricity and has to know the amount purchased and the amount sold for business performance analysis at any given time.