A centre for research, development and testing of innovative smart grids technologies has been launched for global solutions and utility companies, technology centres and universities in Spain.
Spanish multinational utility Iberdrola has partnered with the Provincial Council of Bizkaia to launch the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub.
The 1,000 m2 facility at Iberdrola’s network headquarters in Larraskitu will serve as a platform for developing new solutions that are capable of shaping grid networks of the future.
The hub hosts 50 companies, technology centres and universities that are working on 120 projects worth €110 million ($127.1 million), according to a statement.
The hub is equipped with modern digitalisation, artificial intelligence and advanced data analysis solutions that are capable of helping to deliver the energy transition and optimised utility operations.
Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán said: “…our commitment to decarbonisation could only be successful if we digitalised the electricity grids. We have the technology, the companies and the capacity, but we need to eliminate the existing barriers to investment in networks and to create a climate of trust for investors with the same stability that exists in other countries where we operate.”
Iberdrola seeks to leverage the hub to attract talent, new technologies and to train its workforce with capabilities that can help the firm achieve goals set under its €150 billion ($173.4 billion) digital and green transformation initiative.
Galan added that the hub has the potential to come up with solutions that can help create new green jobs and enable the bloc to recover from the effects of the pandemic. He added that the project can provide answers to help “achieving the green deal and to promote common progress” as well as “address the energy price situation and the challenges of decarbonising the economy from a European perspective…”
The hub is expected to help accelerate the deployment and use of renewable energy, energy storage, electric vehicles and smart heating technologies, according to a statement. The focus will be put on how technology can be used to reduce the environmental impact of electrical infrastructures and how the latest communications technologies such as 5G can be used for grid digitalisation to ensure energy savings. Researchers will look at how smart meters can be used to enhance the digitalisation of the low voltage network in preparation for smart city and Internet of Things technology deployments, according to Iberdrola.
The Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub aims to promote knowledge transfer through scholarships and postgraduate courses; to serve as a catalyst for business development through startup incubation and acceleration programmes; and to activate competitive intelligence actions, such as designing global conferences.