Spanish electric utility company Iberdrola signed a loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for €500m to modernise electricity distribution networks. The loan agreement is aimed at improving the quality of service that the utility provides its customers, and also realise its STAR Project (Grid Remote Management and Automation System).
The STAR Project (Network Remote Management and Automation System) is an ambitious initiative of the Iberdrola Group that aims to transform technology in the field of smart grids.
The project, which represents a total investment by the company in our country of more than 2 billion euros, will be completed in 2018. Over 10.5 million meters will
be replaced and around 80,000 transformer centres will be adapted.
Iberdrola is carrying out this project in the 10 autonomous regions where it has distribution networks, is one of the first companies in the world to reach a significant volume of installed and connected smart meters. Furthermore, it is adapting its distribution network by incorporating real-time supervision and automation.
The company will initiate the project across several counties in the country including Aragon, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Comunidad Valenciana, Extremadura, La Rioja, Madrid, Murcia, Galicia, Asturias, Navarra and the Basque Country.
The EIB said that the funding can contribute towards improved electricity supply and services across Spain, making it more efficient and environmentally sustainable.
In May, the utility announced that 9.5 million digital meters have been installed and the infrastructure that supports them has been adapted to smart grid.
Iberdrola said: "The renewal of Iberdrola's electricity infrastructures financed by the EIB has a direct positive impact on consumers, thanks in particular to the installation of more than four million remotely controlled digital meters that afford consumers information in real time."
The project is expected to create more than 6,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the implementation process.