In the next few days, IBERDROLA will be starting the roll-out of its first smart electricity grid in Navarre. To be more specific, this initiative will be launched in the city of Pamplona, where some 15,000 customers will benefit by the end of 2012, thanks to a €1.5 million investment during the year.
In the month of July, the company will be embarking on the first stage of development of this project, which will focus on replacing the traditional meters with the new systems that comply with the specifications of the Royal Decree on Remote Management.
With around 105,000 points of supply in Pamplona, IBERDROLA plans to complete the replacement of all meters in 2014. In this same period of time, it will also adapt its transformer stations in the city to adapt them to this new distribution model.
These roll-outs are part of the STAR (Spanish acronym for Grid Management and Automation System) project, which IBERDROLA is carrying out in all of the regions where it has an electricity distribution grid. In the case of Navarre, the total completion will require a €55 million investment.
This means that by the end of 2018, the over 360,000 points of supply served by the company in the Foral Community of Navarre will be equipped with smart meters and the transformer stations will also be operated using this type of technology.
These new installations will not only enable the overhaul of IBERDROLA's electricity infrastructure in this region. They will also give a major boost to the economy of Navarre, as a result of the contracts with local companies and suppliers. This project will also mean that more skilled personnel will be hired.
IBERDROLA is a company with strong connections in Navarre, a region where its energy distribution infrastructure currently consists of 64 substations, 3,440 transformer stations, some 1,200 kilometres of very high and high voltage power lines and over 6,800 kilometres of medium and low voltage power lines.
Advantages of smart grids
Some of the main advantages of smart grids are the integration of distributed generation, the possibility of rolling out electric vehicles on a mass scale and improved efficiency in electricity consumption. In this latter area, they will allow for the remote provision of services, such as real-time meter-readings, processing contract registrations and cancellations or altering the capacity under contract.
The company will also be able to supervise the electricity grid and detect any kind of anomalies: whether the voltage is correct, whether the power is balanced or whether there are losses. This information will enable the energy to circulate more efficiently and lead to an improvement in the quality of supply, as there will be a drop in the number of exceptions and their duration.
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