Spain’s Red Electrica to modernise communications network

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The Spanish transmission system operator (TSO) has selected Nokia to upgrade its communications to support further digitalisation of operations.

Red Eléctrica de España is to implement Nokia’s IP/MPLS network and DWDM (Dense Wave-Division Multiplexing) optical transport network to support grid operations across its 800 sites nationwide, including the Canary and Balearic islands.

The new networks will replace a legacy SDH fibre network to provide significantly more bandwidth for the smarter and more efficient management of a renewables based grid.

It will support a new generation of IP-based applications, which will play a key role in use cases from IoT-based asset management to managing intermittent utility scale renewables and distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar and home energy storage.

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Services supported by the Nokia network include substation communications, low latency communication of IoT sensor data for measurement, protection and control and time synchronisation of devices.

The network will also support operational control systems such as SCADA and line protection, as well as synchrophasors and other services demanding in terms of synchronisation, latency and criticality, such as current differential protection.

Network operations will be supported by Nokia’s Network Services Platform (NSP), delivering integrated management capabilities, coordinated across the network layers.

“Red Eléctrica is a key player in the energy transition and the challenges we face are clear, and we must be able to anticipate them, so we need to have the best tools with which to carry out our mission with the highest possible quality, safety and efficiency,” says Manuel López Cormenzana, Director of Transmission Infrastructure Maintenance.

“In this sense, modernising our communications network is vital in order to advance in the digitalisation of our processes and to enable advanced management of transmission assets.”

With capacities up to 100Gb/s the new networks also provide room for future growth, including the development of digital substations based on IEC 61850 technology and new R&D projects.

The implementation follows a proof of concept in 2019.