Three Innovative Smart Grid Projects

GRID4EU, Eirgrid’s DS3 and Kepco’s ‘Smart Grid Station’ have been recognized for global leadership and innovation in smart grids.

Awards are aplenty in our industry but when they come from the two of the main international global alliances in smart grids, they are worthy of particular attention.

Award of Excellence for GRID4EU

The International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) has named the winner of its second annual Award for Excellence as the GRID4EU project.

GRID4EU, which is one of the largest smart grid projects in Europe, was conceived as a large-scale demonstration of advanced smart grid solutions with a focus on increasing the hosting capacity for renewable energy sources in distribution grids. It has brought together a consortium of six energy distributors, ERDF (France), Enel Distribuzione (Italy), Iberdrola (Spain), CEZ Distribuce (Czeck Republic), Vattenfall Eldistribution (Sweden) and RWE (Germany), which together cover more than 50% of Europe’s metered electricity customers. A further 21 partners include energy suppliers, manufacturers and research institutes.

The 51-month project, which started in November 2011 (and ends January 2016), comprises six demonstrations in the six countries:

• In France, in Carros, the focus was on the optimization of PV integration into the LV grid using PV and load forecasts, flexible loads, electric storage and islanding.

• In Italy, in the Forli-Cesena area (Emilia Romagna region), an advanced control system was implemented to increase the hosting capacity and maximize the integration of renewable energy sources and distributed generation in the MV network.

• In Spain, in Castellon, the focus was on enhancement of MV and LV network automation and awareness of customers about their consumption and the network situation.

• In Czeck Republic, in Vrchlabi, the focus was on LV and MV grid automation, implementation of EV infrastructure, power quality measurement and island operation.

• In Sweden, in Uppsala, the focus was on development of an LV distribution network monitoring system based on AMI infrastructure and intelligent equipment in the secondary substation.

• In Germany, in Reken, the focus was on improvement of surveillance and advanced control of the MV grid based on a multi-agent-system acting and switching autonomously through a forecast-based algorithm.

“GRID4EU pools the expertise and experience of six major European smart grid demonstration projects to achieve the common vision of a ‘smarter and greener grid’,” said Michele de Nigris, chair of ISGAN’s Executive Committee. “This multi-project structure, as well as GRID4EU’s approach in using smart grids to integrate renewable energy, stand as best practice examples for the rest of the world.”

Honourable mention to DS3

Two other projects were given honourable mention by ISGAN – EirGrid’s (Ireland) ‘DS3 – Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Electricity System’ project, and Kepco’s (Korea) ‘Smart Grid Station’ project.

DS3 is focused on identifying and overcoming the challenges associated with integrating variable renewable generation into a synchronous power grid at high levels. The project is divided into three pillars – system performance, policies and tools, under which a number of new innovative smart grid tools, policies and methodologies have been developed, including a metric to examine the maximum possible variable renewable generation capacity while operating the system in a secured and safe manner. By integrating planning and development between the three pillars, EirGrid Group has securely managed real-time penetration levels of up to 50% of system demand on a continual basis, and has created a framework to increase this to 75% by 2020.

Other major outcomes include cutting-edge wind dispatch and forecasting tools and enhanced controllability of wind farms.

Best Smartgrid Project to ‘Smart Grid Station’

Kepco’s ‘Smart Grid Station’ project has also been recognized by the Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF), with its inaugural Best Smartgrid Project award.

“The Smart Grid Station integrates both building systems and renewable energy generation using an impressive assortment of smart grid technologies. The project has tremendous potential for replication, which is a key reason why we celebrate it with our inaugural GSGF award,” said GSGF Chair, Paddy Turnbull.

Smart Grid Station is an integrated regional-based control centre for best-managing independent energy systems converged with information and communication technologies. The project developed a hybrid power conversion system (PCS) and a building energy management system (EMS), which integrates various independent systems, such as renewable energy resources, energy storage, smart devices, heating and cooling devices, etc. The hybrid PCS integrates the inverter that controls renewable energy sources and the power conversion system that controls charging/discharging status of batteries, while the EMS monitors and controls the Smart Grid Station system components. In addition, a charging/discharging algorithm for energy storage optimizes energy usage, peak load and cooling/heating status automatically.

Smart Grid Station has demonstrated reduced indoor energy consumption of 10% and reduced peak demand of 5%. Thirty-nine small and medium enterprises participated in the 2014 project and there are plans to expand its application to 75 KEPCO buildings during 2015.