Key4biz: Smart Grid in Puglia: the Enel project with Vodafone and TIESSE

The Puglia Active Networks project for the development of a smart regional electricity grid in cooperation with Enel Distribuzione, Vodafone and TIESSE has been presented in Bari.

by Paolo Anastasio | @PaoloAnastasio1 | 26 April 2016, at 12:00 hours


Improve the performance of the Puglia electricity grid, focusing on the development of Smart Grids, the intelligent distribution networks which in the coming years will be the basis of renewables and of the Smart Cities of the future. This is the objective of “Puglia Active Networks”the Enel Distribuzione project, in collaboration withVodafone for connectivity and TIESSE, the Ivrea-based company specialising in network technologies entirely Made in Italy, which won the tender for the supply of routers for the automation of the medium voltage grid in Puglia.

The project is supported by the European Union (85 million in funds for smart grids and sustainable mobility) and the Ministry of the Environment and was presented on Friday in Bari to the Regional President, Michele Emiliano, in the presence, among others, of Gianluigi Fioriti, CEO of Enel Distribuzione, and Donata Susca, Network Development Manager, Enel Global Infrastructure & Networks .
The objective is to make Puglia the first Italian region in terms of smart grids, a sector in which Italy is at the forefront in Europe, in a region very active on environmental issues that have recently achieved greater awareness in our country with the referendum, in which 13 million Italians voted ‘yes’ to ask the government to abandon hydrocarbon deposits and increase investments in renewables.

Satisfaction at the launch of the project on the part of Mario Ciofalo, TIESSE Chairman: “We have invested - says Ciofalo - resources and means for the research and development of Imola Smart Grid, the device which won the ENEL tender. This project in Puglia, he observes, "positions us even more as manufacturers and suppliers of Routers with the necessary requirements for for mission-critical network applications, and confirms our vocation in the field of the Internet of Things, with solutions which, in addition to advanced routing functionalities, provide specific functionalities for the Smart Grid application solution.

Works on electricity substations

Enel will carry out works on approx. 8,000 electricity substations, integrating a modern communication system to connect the medium voltage grid to a central control system. In this manner, consumption information and data will travel in real time from one substation to another.

The objective is to create an intelligent network to manage the electricity service through the energy generated by renewable systems distributed throughout the region. This system will ensure a balance between electricity supply and demand.

“Smart Grids are essential to ensure an economically efficient and sustainable electricity system, with low losses and high quality of service, supply security, physical security and respect for the environment. – said Gianluigi Fioriti –The choice of Puglia for the development of this project was natural due to the great attention that this region has always demonstrated in adopting the development policies of smart cities of the future, energy efficiency, electric mobility, sustainable tourism and generation from renewable sources. Thanks to Puglia Active Network, Enel Distribuzione confirms Italian technological leadership in energy innovation and its real commitment to the smart evolution of the grid system”.
“The project – added Donata Susca – will make Puglia the first region in the world to test the new electricity system. The technologies used in Puglia will be exported in the future to countries such as Romania, Spain and South America".

Electric mobility

Another objective of ‘Puglia Active Network’ is the development of an electric car charging network in the region with the installation of 150 new charging points to supplement the 42 already in existence. The stations will be installed on the main trunk roads of the region.

The project was presented for the NER300 call, launched by the European Commission to support the installation of innovative technologies for renewable energies. Against a total value of approximately 170 million euros, Enel Distribuzione received funding of around 85 million euros.

But what are Smart Grids and why are they important?

Smart Grids are electricity networks that can intelligently integrate the actions of all users connected to them - generators, consumers and those that do both - in order to efficiently deliver electricity supplies in a sustainable, economic and secure manner. With the Smart Grid concept comes the ability to analyse, monitor, control and communicate with the electricity distribution and transmission system in order to optimise system efficiency and help save energy. In this way, the grids become intelligent and produce a huge amount of information that improves the system, rendering it more effective, efficient and sustainable. There is thus a shift from a one-way distribution system, from the generator to the consumer, to a two-way system, which via smart metering of the smart meters allows consumption data to be collected in real time.

The objective is to create a dialogue between the electricity grids and the telecommunications networks which is as fast and smart as possible, in order to multiply the M2M transmission capacity that will be the backbone of the new networks of the future.