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Projects in Europe


Real and tested solutions to enable the flexible integration of active demand management and distributed generation through fully controllable low and medium voltage grids

LV and MV grids currently suffer from local accumulations of distributed generation, thus increasing risks while making it more difficult to manage the distribution network. Similarly, the lack of observability and control means that the LV grid cannot be operated and maintained under optimum conditions.

This project offers standardised and open across-the-board improvements to LV grids by developing four demo facilities to operate in a real smart distribution network environment. These are currently under construction at the following locations in Europe: Bilbao area (Spain, using the Bidelek Sareak demo project), Parque das Nações in Lisbon (Portugal), the municipality of Åmål (southern Sweden) and the municipality of Gdynia (northern Poland).

The project pursues the following objectives:

  • Developing and validating solutions to allow advanced functionalities to be added to existing technologies, thus setting up a truly integrated smart system.
  • Improving observability and control capacity of LV and MV grids so as to better anticipate technical problems associated with the large-scale integration of distributed generation, while also bringing end consumption (LV and MV) closer to operating and planning systems.

UPGRID is headed by Iberdrola Distribución Eléctrica S.A.U. The project got under way in January of 2015 under the European Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme and has a three-year timeline. It is being developed by a consortium comprising nineteen partners from seven different countries in Europe: Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Poland, the United Kingdom, France and Norway.


Large-scale demonstration of advanced smart grid solutions providing a high level of scalability and replicability across Europe

The aim of the project is to test innovative conceptual systems and technologies under real conditions in order to highlight and attempt to remove some of the barriers (technical, economic, social, environmental and regulatory) to the use of smart grids, while also helping to achieve Europe's objectives for 2020. Smart grid potential has been tested through the integration of renewable energies, the development of electric vehicles, grid automation, energy storage, energy efficiency and shorter recharging times.

The project explores how distribution system operators can dynamically manage and match supply and demand, which is crucial when it comes to integrating large volumes of energy from renewable sources and allows consumers to become actively involved in choosing their energy. Lastly, these innovative concepts and technologies must offer a suitable cost/performance ratio, thus increasing grid reliability, flexibility and resilience.

The project is being carried out at six pilot areas to provide a more transversal investigation process while allowing the results to be shared among the different power distributors involved in the project.

The project will run for four and a half years, ending in 2016. The main challenges are:

  • Ensuring an optimised and ongoing integration of a number of small and medium-scale energy resources.
  • Balancing intermittent energy resources (including more accurate predictions) with demand and power storage responsiveness. (*)


Improving the operation of distribution networks through optimal use of distributed intelligence

The DISCERN project (Distributed Intelligence for Cost-Effective and Reliable Distribution Network Operation) aims to assess the optimum level of intelligence to be installed on distribution networks so as to determine replicable technological solutions that will enable development without comprising grid reliability, profitability and controllability. This will ultimately allow for more rational grid management and better planning of grid scale and extension, thus facilitating the large-scale introduction of renewable distributed generation.

These recommendations have arisen from an analysis of five previous projects operated by five major European distributors, and of field tests conducted during the project on a number of the recommended technologies implemented at three distribution networks.

The project is divided into three areas:

  • Validating the demonstration projects and creating use cases: analysis and comparison of solutions by defining common use cases for all projects.
  • Simulation and testing: simulations and roll-outs of the demonstration projects to validate the solutions and measure their performance through the use of key performance indicators (KPIs).


Integrating energy storage solutions with R&D activities in electrical grids

The GRID+STORAGE project, set up through a consortium comprising TECHNOFI, EASE, EDSO, ENTSO-E, RSE and Vito, is seeking to define and implement an integrated R&D roadmap for Europe; one that aligns energy storage with grid research and innovation activities in the realm of both power transmission and distribution.

The following project activities will continue until the end of 2016:

  • Public consultations, targeting stakeholders across Europe in relation to the electricity value chain and other energy networks.
  • Project monitoring through planned initiatives relating to smart grids and energy storage at national, regional and international levels.
  • Regional workshops aimed at sharing the knowledge generated and discussing the state of the art of each member state, thus allowing us to identify project-related needs.
  • Disseminating the knowledge obtained from carrying out the project, as well as the knowledge gathered from other completed projects through an open platform that is already up and running.

These activities will allow consortium members to draw up an integrated R&D roadmap, enabling them to construct a more secure electricity market until the end of 2016 by implementing the short-term integration plans for the 2016-2018 and 2017-2019 horizons.


Integrating Renewables in the European Electricity Grid

The project focuses on increasing the hosting capacity of distributed renewable energy sources (DRES) in power distribution networks without comprising reliability or jeopardising quality of supply.

At its heart, the project seeks to share knowledge and promote best practices in finding potential solutions for the effective integration of DRES through six demo projects in LV and MV grids across six different countries. The results obtained have been compared and validated via simulations in other environments so as to assess project scalability and replicability at EU level.

The project pursues the following specific objectives:

  • Identifying the most promising solutions and proposing guidelines on how to increase hosting capacity for distributed production energy across electrical distribution networks.
  • Evaluating the extent to which hosting capacity can be expanded through the use of real-time monitoring and advanced control so as to help ensure that each point along the grid receives the maximum possible amount of renewable energy production.
  • Optimising and balancing flows of energy across the grid.
  • Providing information on the distribution network and its connection points.


PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution (PRIME) is an industrial project headed by Iberdrola Distribución Eléctrica that seeks to define and test a new open and non-proprietary architecture for public communications to provide support for new remote meter management functionalities, while enabling further progress to be made towards the electrical grids of tomorrow (SmartGrids).

The ultimate aim of the project is to create a complete set of international standards that will allow for interoperability between the equipment and systems of different manufacturers, thus improving competitiveness within the market for the benefit of all parties involved, especially end consumers.


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