NEA Inaugurates Electric Distribution Control and Data Center in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU: The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has inaugurated its newly constructed Electric Distribution System Control Center and a state-of-the-art international standard Data Center. The centers, located at the Load Dispatch Center in Syuchatar, Kathmandu, were inaugurated by Shakti Bahadur Basnet, the Minister of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation, on Friday.

The state-of-the-art Data Center at Syuchatar, Kathmandu, is designed to serve both NEA and, in the future, commercial companies. Minister Basnet highlighted that the construction of the Electric Distribution System Control Center and the international standard Data Center represents another significant step toward making Nepal’s energy sector smarter. He emphasized that these facilities are crucial achievements in automating and modernizing NEA’s operations and services.

Arnold Kush, Director of the Asian Development Bank, Nepal Resident Mission, noted that the modernization and digitization of NEA’s services represent a significant milestone. He stressed the importance of digitalization for reducing energy costs and ensuring reliable service delivery.

Kulman Ghising, Executive Director of NEA, mentioned that under the “Digital NEA” initiative, many projects have been undertaken to automate and modernize service delivery and improve the electric system. He said these efforts aim to reduce administrative costs, enhance employee efficiency, and ensure a reliable and trustworthy electricity supply.

The new three-story building, constructed using prefabricated containers, houses the monitoring, regulation, control, and security operations of Kathmandu Valley’s underground electric distribution system on the ground floor. The first floor contains office and network operation rooms, while the top floor houses the Data Center.

Built to Tier 3 international standards, the Data Center aims to fulfill NEA’s goal of digital and modern service delivery under the Digital NEA program. It is the first model Data Center of its kind in Nepal. The center will eventually integrate all IT-related servers and data of NEA.

The new Data Center contains 40 IT racks, including 36 server racks and 4 network racks. It ensures uninterrupted power supply (N+1 power supply), cooling, automatic fire control, CCTV monitoring, and continuous operational and security surveillance to meet Tier 3 standards. Various backup arrangements have been made to ensure continuous power supply.

To ensure safe operations during power outages in the local and national electric grid, two 1 MW generators are on standby at the Data Center. Two 300 kVA modular UPS systems have been installed, using lithium-ion batteries for reliability. The center does not need to be shut down for maintenance or equipment replacement, with six feeders providing electricity supply.

Optical fiber connections with alternative routes have been installed to connect NEA’s head office in Ratnapark to the Data Center. These connections link the head office and the Data Center via Teku and Balaju. Staff are assigned to operate the Data Center 24/7.

Besides the Data Center, infrastructure has been built to monitor, regulate, and control the underground distribution system in Kathmandu Valley. Substations and switching stations in the Valley will be connected, allowing for the management, monitoring, and control of the electric distribution system reaching below 11 kV to customer premises from the center. A charging station capable of charging three electric vehicles simultaneously has also been set up in the Data Center premises.

The contract for the construction of the center was signed with the Chinese company Yantai Dongfang Wisdom Electric Co. Ltd. in July 2021, and work began in November of the same year. The estimated cost of the center, funded by the government, NEA, technical assistance from the Norwegian government, and a concessional loan from the Asian Development Bank, is around NPR 1.4 billion.

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday June 30, 2024, 11:28:30 AM |

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