Iberdrola to install Spain's first smart grid in Castellon

CASTELLON, SPAIN - Electricity utility Iberdrola SA will be responsible for installing Spain's first smart grid in Castellon in northern Valencia. The project will entail installation of smart meters for 120,000 customers and automation of 600 transformer centers in the region.

Scheduled to commence in March 2010, the installation of smart meters is expected to take four to five months to complete. Iberdrola eventually plans to undertake deployment of smart meters at other locations in the country and expects the sector to generate 25,000 employment opportunities. Investment details pertaining to the project have not been disclosed yet.

Speaking at the International Fair for Energy Efficiency and Technological Innovation in Renewable and Conventional Energies in Valencia last month, Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan announced that Castellon would be the first Spanish city to be equipped with smart electricity networks. Iberdrola will install the networks to control the flow of electricity by determining real-time power consumption and optimizing usage to enable power savings.

The firm will also automate 600 processing centers in order to improve the quality of power supply and enable management of remote measuring equipment.

Galan recently stated that while Spain already has investments under way for new power generation projects through 2020, the country requires investments of about 50 billion euros (US $72.8 billion) to strengthen distribution and transmission infrastructure through 2020. Iberdrola envisages a smart network capable of accommodating power generated from wind and other renewable sources.

The system will also be capable of charging electric vehicles during periods of low consumption. Galan is heading the electric vehicles project in Valencia in coordination with the Electrical Technology Institute. Under this initiative, Iberdrola will develop an electric vehicle to be introduced in the region. The project will run for 21 months and has a budget of 1 million euros (US $1.45 million).

Iberdrola has an installed power generating capacity of 3,900 megawatts (MW) in Valencia. The firm caters to the electricity requirements of nearly 3.4 million customers through an infrastructural network comprising more than 120 substations, 19,000 processing centers, 3,200 kilometers of high- and very-high-voltage transmission lines, and more than 50,000 kilometers of low- and medium-voltage transmission lines.


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