To keep up with the increasing demand for smart-grid technologies in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Schneider Electric has opened a third Russian factory.
President Jean-Louis Stasi explains, “We reached a critical point where we had to be in-country to keep up with orders and the demands of customers.” The services provided by the smart grid include real-time monitoring technologies and software to closely tailor energy supply to demand, reducing electricity bills, increasing reliability and reducing energy waste during network peak and off hours.
The new $14.5 million plant near the town of Kommunar in the Leningrad region will turn out RM6 ring main units for Russian utility companies and property developers. According to Schneider, “the units act as circuit breakers and electricity distribution points in medium-voltage power distribution networks around city districts and large building projects. Prior to the opening of this plant, similar units were supplied by Schneider’s factories in France and China.
Because they can be remotely monitored, faults can be identified and fixed quickly, reducing chances of service disruption.”
Stasi and Frederic Adam, managing director of Schneider’s EMEAS division, reported that the plant would turn out 6,000 units a year and they hoped to get a complete return on their investment by next year. The company has already sold more than 22,000 similar units in Russia and may export from the new factory to other CIS countries in the future.
It is estimated that Russia will need an additional 173 gigawatts of electrical energy by 2030 with an investment of $328 billion in modernization and expansion of current electricity infrastructure. The government has also set a goal of slashing energy waste, which is currently roughly equivalent to France’s entire annual consumption.