The President of the Valencia regional government, Francisco Camps, and the chairman of IBERDROLA, Ignacio Galán, launched Spain's first smart network project at the company's Castellón offices today.
The launch was attended by the regional infrastructure and transport minister, Mario Flores, and the mayor of Castellón, Alberto Fabra. IBERDROLA was represented by the head of the Spain Networks Business, Javier Villalba, and the company's advisory board for the Valencia region, headed by its chairman José Luis Olivas, also CEO of the Bancaja savings bank.
In his speech, Galán announced that IBERDROLA is set to invest €22 million in the Castellón smart network project. The move involves adapting over 600 transformer stations – to be fitted out with state-of-the-art electronic equipment – and replacing the over 100,000 power meters supplying the city's 175,000 inhabitants.
The IBERDROLA chairman underscored that “this is a cutting edge project in Spain entailing a major technological shift in the power distribution business. Castellón is set to become Spain's – and possibly the world's – leading city in this field.”
The company's first steps in the city have been to renovate 26 transformer centres and commission the first 60 new power meters, which conform to the new specifications set down in Spain's remote management Royal Decree(*) and will operate as part of the smart network.
Ignacio Galán underlined that even at this early stage of implementation in the city the initiative is fostering high-end industrial business and jobs locally, “creating value and wealth for the citizens of Castellón and the Valencia region as a whole.”
The IBERDROLA chairman added that mass deployment of smart networks throughout the rest of Spain could see the power industry invest €5.5 billion and create close to 25,000 highly skilled jobs over the coming eight years.
Enhanced supply quality and energy efficiency
Castellón’s new smart network will support the remote provision of services, such as meter reading, subscriptions and deletions and changes to contracted capacity. The upgrade will enable clients to monitor their usage data in real-time and (assuming suitable future regulations) use flexible rates to improve their energy efficiency.
Galán explained that smart networks enhance supply quality by dramatically shortening downtime. “Smart networks will encourage the development and implementation of other innovative initiatives, too, such as the electric car – IBERDROLA is working very closely with the Valencia regional government in this area.”
Ignacio Galán used the launch to once again highlight the company's commitment to the Valencia region. IBERDROLA RENOVABLES has its head office here and is a driving force in the local economy: it has invested over €3.5 billion over the past eight years and made annual purchases worth more than €600 million from hundreds of businesses in the region.