Iberdrola secures €500m loan to digitise electricity networks

The loan agreement with the European Investment Bank will help Iberdrola realise its electric smart meter goals.
Published: Thu 29 Jun 2017

The loan will help Iberdrola, the Spanish electric utility, upgrade its electricity distribution networks and digitise its electric meters.

The European Investment Bank said in a statement that the funding will contribute towards an improved electricity supply and services across Spain, creating a greater efficiency and a more sustainable environment.

STAR Project gets the boost it needs

The loan brings Iberdrola closer to its goals: improve the quality of its service and realise its STAR Project (Grid Remote Management and Automation System), an initiative that complements the legal obligation to change meters for those less than or equal to 15kW.

The project involves several counties in the country including Aragon, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Comunidad Valenciana, Extremadura, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Galicia, Asturias, Navarra and the Basque Country.

In May, the company announced that the distribution division has reached 9.5m installed digital meters and the infrastructure that supports them has been adapted to smart grid. Iberdrola will install a further 4m remotely controlled digital meters that can monitor consumer information in real time.

The initial phase of the rollout was focused on urban areas with a high consumer density, as well as high demands in terms of security, reliability and service. To complete the smart meter's rollout, Iberdrola will install more than 2.5m devices throughout 2017 and 2018.

Iberdrola expects the total rollout of Project STAR to be completed in 2018, representing a total investment by the company of more than €2bn.

Spain’s consumers to benefit

Iberdrola said in a statement: "The renewal of Iberdrola's electricity infrastructures financed by the EIB has a direct positive impact on consumers, due in particular to the installation of over four million remotely controlled digital meters that afford consumers information in real time."

Of specific interest to Iberdrola consumers is the ability that they now have to use smart meters equipped with remote management systems. These enable them to view their daily, weekly and monthly consumption curves and their maximum power demand, among other details.

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