smart grid innovation
Spanish multinational electric utility company Iberdrola secured funding from the European Investment Bank to implement innovation projects to enhance its grid network.

The €200 million ($223.1 million) loan secured by the utility will be used to enhance the firm’s smart grid and renewable energy networks.

In a press statement, Iberdrola said it will invest the money to enhance its grids in the UK and Spain.

The power company added that the money will be used to fund its research, development and Innovation programmes between 2015 and 2018.

[quote] The loan will also support investment in innovative projects on electric mobility and energy storage.

Iberdrola will repay the loan with a 17% increase over the next six years.

Grid innovation investments

Last year, Spain’s largest utility Iberdrola claimed that it improved its service quality for customers in the Castilla-La Mancha area by 18% due to its investment in smart grid technology.

The utility told local Spanish media that it has reduced power outages from 45 minutes between January to July 2014 to 37 minutes in 2015 over the same seven-month period.

Iberdrola attributed the improvement to spending €30 million ($33.4 million) on its distribution network infrastructure in the Castilla-La Mancha in central Spain. 

The utility has built and upgraded its substations, power lines and transformer stations as part of the STAR project (System Remote Management and Automation Network), which it is carrying out in all regions where it operates. 

The company has installed more than 340,000 smart meters, almost half of all meters in Castilla-La Mancha for customers using up to 15 kilowatts. 

By 2018, all 700,000 end points in the region will be smart meters at a cost of €90 million ($100 million).

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Nicholas Nhede
Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.