Pilot project underway in the Province of Modena to implement smart grids on the Hera network.
For the first time in Italy, Enel Distribuzione will be working in partnership to build a smart grid on another distributor’s infrastructure, working with Hera on a national standard for smart grids.
This is the latest step in the two companies’ partnership which started in 2006 with the smart meter and which has recently produced two agreements for the development of e-mobility.

Rome, July 25th, 2013 – Enel Distribuzione, the company that runs the Enel distribution grid and Hera, the Italian multi-utility firm that operates in the environmental sector and provides water, gas and electricity services, have reached a partnership agreement to launch a pilot smart-grid project.

The agreement specifically aims at  applying the technological solutions and the specific functions that Enel Distribuzione has already developed or is testing on its own grid, assessing their benefits and giving rise to a process that will transform the electricity grid into a two-directional operation.

Enel Distribuzione will bring its long experience and the know-how it has acquired in this field to the partnership, in order, for the first time in Italy, to build a smart grid on another distributor’s network. By working with Hera they will thus create a de facto standard that will lead smart grid technologies in Italy.

The project, lasting two years, will be developed in the Province of Modena on the grid linked to the Pavullo substation. It will involve four distinct technology modules in order to create an automation system for the medium-voltage grid, integrating distributed generation into the monitoring and control system. This will make it easier to detect breakdowns, with the further development of remote control, for better integrating distributed generation from renewable sources such as as photovoltaic power, and storage of the energy generated. There will be greater customer involvement, including devices installed in homes to monitor consumption.

Withini the framework of this collaboration, the two companies will work together on evaluating the use of battery systems for energy storage (Storage) and the Smart-Info system that allows customers to have the information recorded by the electronic meter at their fingertips , thus enabling them to optimise their energy consumption, leading to more efficient and sustainable behaviours.

The implementation of the smart-grid technologies on the electricity distribution grid will produce a number of practical benefits for distributors and end users, in terms of reducing the number and frequency of power cuts, thus improving the quality of the service on the Hera grid. It will also reduce CO2 emissions thanks to the distributed generation of power from renewable sources. Hera will also be able to enjoy the advantages of access to the Enel know-how and benefit from a reduction in operating costs.

This agreement marks another major milestone in the partnership between Enel and Hera, which began in 2006 with Hera’s purchase of the Enel electronic meter. This was followed, in 2011, by the agreement for the development of electric mobility and for the interoperability of the recharge infrastructure for electric vehicles in Emilia Romagna, which enabled Hera to adopt the Enel recharge technology that was already in widespread use on its territory.

Livio Gallo, Director of Infrastructure and Networks at Enel, stated “The agreement with Hera represents another step on the way to making the electricity infrastructure ever more inter-connected and interactive in such a key region as Emilia Romagna, which ranks second in Italy for the number of power generating plants linked to the electric grid. But that’s not all, thanks to this pilot project and its results, it will be possible to propose a reference model for the development of smart grids, to countless other European distributors of a similar size to Hera, with enormous advantages for the entire European system”.

Tomaso Tommasi di Vignano, Chairman of Hera, stated “It is an extremely significant project. It confirms Hera’s expertise in innovation, as well as entailing benefits for customers, especially considering the projected extension of these technologies across the entire network. Hera’s expertise has been acknowledged by partners as reputable as Enel, which has decided to develop, in partnership with us, systems that in the next years will significantly improve electricity distribution in Italy.”


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