Smartcity Málaga moves to next phase of smart grid development


Málaga, Spain — (METERING.COM) — July 2, 2013  – Following the successful conclusion of the first phase of implementation of the Smartcity Málaga pilot launched in 2009, the project now enters the next phase with the city the Enel Group’s testing ground for the development of smart grid distribution technologies.

Smartcity Málaga is aimed at analyzing how the current energy model can evolve towards sustainability through the implementation of technological solutions. The main goal is to offer integrated energy solutions that enable energy savings and reduce the environmental impact of CO2 emissions, in line with EU targets for 2020.

The first phase of Smartcity Málaga consisted of a €31 million project headed by Endesa in partnership with Enel, and also involving another nine companies and several research centers. The initiative was rolled out in the Playa de la Misericordia district of Málaga, where the monitoring and control center is located, and involved 300 industrial, 900 service and 12,000 domestic customers. Over the last four years, Smartcity Málaga has highlighted the feasibility of a new energy management model for cities, meeting the targets of 20% energy savings, a 6,000 tonne per year reduction in CO2 emissions as well as enhanced integration of renewable sources in the distribution grid.
During the next phase of Smartcity Málaga, the city will employ the technologies installed during the first phase of the project, when the distribution network was configured as a smart grid. These technologies will enable the testing of new equipment, operating models and consumption management systems. Research will focus on analysis of efficiency indicators, advanced grid operation, remote meter management services, cybersecurity, energy saving measures for residential and large customers as well as buildings, in addition to the integration of renewables, storage and e-mobility within the city grid.

Besides Smartcity Málaga, Enel also has smart city projects under way in Barcelona in Spain, Bari, Genoa, Turin, Cosenza and L’Aquila in Italy, Búzios, in Brazil, and Santiago in Chile. Enel is also working on two smart grid models on the islands of El Hierro and La Graciosa in Spain with a view to establishing systems that help isolated island systems become energy self-sufficient.

The aims of the project were achieved via the optimal grid integration of renewable energy sources, by bringing power generation facilities closer to end-users through the installation of photovoltaic panels on public buildings, the use of micro solar power generation in a number of hotels and the installation of micro wind power systems in the area. Storage systems were also employed so that renewable energy could be subsequently used for building air conditioning, public lighting and grid back-up. E-mobility research was also strengthened, with the installation of recharging stations and the introduction of a small fleet of electric vehicles.

One of the key aspects of the project was boosting the involvement of end-users. As a result, all residential customers targeted by the project now have in their premises the smart meters jointly developed by Enel and Endesa that utilize the Meters and More powerline communication (PLC) protocol.