Rome’s Smart Grid Plans Underway

ABB provides voltage products for Italy’s smart grid project
Published: Fri 04 Apr 2014

Azienda Comunale Elettricità e Acque (ACEA) has awarded a contract to ABB to supply medium voltage products that will facilitate the development of a pioneering smart grid project in Italy.

The project, covering a new section of Rome's electrical distribution network, is one of eight pilot projects approved and is partly financed by the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas.

Technology to reduce outages

ABB is to supply its advanced UniSec switchgear equipped with protection relays from the Relion product family. Specifically developed for smart grid applications, the switchgear has combined current and voltage sensors for use in secondary substations. It also includes devices for primary substations and for interfacing with distributed generation in secondary distribution substations for better reliability and availability.

The logic selectivity developed for the project is based on the IEC 61850 protocol, enabling open communication between multi-source devices. The system also adopts a generic object oriented substation event (G.O.O.S.E.) model over wireless network for communication among the various devices connected and between substations, and the system in the control room.

ABB Medium Voltage Products business head Bruno Melles said the installation of the intelligent products will result in reduced number of outages and cut down the average duration of service interruptions.

The installation of these intelligent products will reduce the number of outages, as well as decrease the average duration of service interruptions. The new technology will also help to detect and restore faults much quicker. This will, in turn, lead to better power services to consumers.

Creating a sustainable urban future

The two companies have already conducted initial experiments based on sections of Rome's electrical grid, which involved two primary substations, 76 secondary substations, four distributed generation plants, several customers connected at a medium voltage level and around 1,200 low voltage users.

Most of the experiments were carried out at ABB's recently established Smart Lab in Dalmine, Italy.

The integration of intelligent power solutions in infrastructure development is claimed to present an opportunity for mega cities to address the growing demand for reliable power while creating a strong foundation for a sustainable urban future.