Schneider Electric prepares Milan grid for electrification of bus network

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Technology company Schneider Electric has partnered with French vehicle manufacturer Alstom to help municipal public transport company Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM) to modernise the grid and electrify its bus network in Milan.

ATM plans to convert its fleet of 1,200 diesel buses to electric models by 2030. The transition will be possible if adequate grid infrastructure upgrades are put in place to support the charging infrastructure of the electric buses.

As a result, Schneider Electric has provided 32 SM AirSet medium-voltage switchgears to upgrade the grid network that will power electric bus chargers for ATM’s bus depots in Viale Sarca and Giambellino. Schneider Electric is also providing energy management systems to ensure the reliability of the grid when ATM’s buses charge.

Schneider Electric says its switchgear is environmentally friendly as it uses air insulation and shunt vacuum interruption technology instead of the greenhouse gas SF6 that has traditionally been used on distribution networks. The use of the technology is expected to help ATM avoid the emissions of 560 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The technology company claims the Milan project is one of the first in which SM AirSeT has been used in the infrastructure sector.

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In addition, the technology has advanced digital capabilities and connectivity to ensure automated, safe, secure, efficient, and improved network and asset management.

Apart from helping ATM achieve its sustainability goals, the technology is expected to help the transport firm to reduce its asset maintenance and operational costs owing to its digital functions that can be integrated into automation and supervision systems. For instance, the switchgear uses thermal monitoring technology to identify temperature anomalies that can lead to overheating. This means the distribution network will be monitored in real-time and any changes that can cause harm can be quickly detected and communicated to be attended to.

Electric mobility is a key focus area companies in Italy including Enel are focusing on to help the country meet its climate mitigation goals. Collaboration between government agencies, utilities, academia, automakers, and technology companies is at the heart of the transition to smart mobility. This is supported by the number of partnerships that have been launched in the past years.

In May 2021, Iberdrola, Enel and bp formed an e-mobility power alliance with Volkswagen aimed at accelerating e-mobility in Italy and across Europe.

From 30 November 2021 to 2 December 2021, stakeholders within the energy and electric vehicles value chain will gather at Enlit Europe in Milan to discuss pressing challenges hindering the transition to low-carbon energy solutions and smart mobility. Industry players will celebrate some of the energy sector wins and discuss technologies and business cases with the potential to address market challenges.

We can’t wait to see you in Milan

Enlit Europe will bring the energy community together during the live event in Milan (30 November – 2 December 2021). Register here