Iberdrola and the Basque Government sign an agreement to invest in smart electricity networks in Bilbao and Portugalete
The project will entail investment of € 60,000,000 over the course of the next 3 years
- BBK [the savings bank of Bilbao and Biscay] and the Provincial Council of Biscay participate as collaborators in the design and financial structuring of the project.
- Smart networks are electricity distribution networks equipped with systems that provide information to distribution companies and users.
- Investments are aimed at forging a technological reference point at global level within a project that will draw in energy companies and provide impetus to energy infrastructures
Bilbao 22nd of December 2010 - Today, Iberdrola and the Basque Government, via the Ente Vasco de la Energía (Basque Energy Agency - EVE), signed a collaboration protocol, undertaking to design and introduce smart electricity networks in Bilbao and Portugalete. The project will entail investment of € 60,000,000 over the course of the next 3 years. BBK [the savings bank of Bilbao and Biscay] and the Provincial Council of Biscay participate as collaborators in the design and financial structuring of the project.
IBERDROLA will spearhead the technological dimension of the Smart Networks Project, placing its current distribution assets in Bilbao and Portugalete at the service of the project, thereby ensuring, via this investment, that it maintains its position as a leading electricity company in terms of the quality and efficiency of its electricity networks. The Basque Government, via EVE, will provide financial support, sharing in the economic and technological risks of the investments that are to be made, and will undertake the task of overseeing that the commitments, in terms of savings and energy efficiency, are met, ensuring that improvements in the service afforded to consumers and the associated technological developments are implemented.
For its part, the Provincial Council of Biscay will make its resources within the Historical Territory and its familiarity with this region available to the Smart Networks Project in order to ensure that the structuring and implementation of the project are carried out in the most efficient manner with the existing legal framework. The BBK will take charge of the design and financial structuring of the Smart Networks Project, guaranteeing its viability and implementation in the shortest possible time.
It is estimated that the launch of the new smart networks will require an investment of approximately 60 million euros over the course of the next 3 years. To this end a shell company will be set up, formed by Iberdrola and the Basque Energy Agency (EVE), wherein each body will make the necessary economic contributions for the transformation and modernisation of the current electricity distribution installations. The objective of the investment is to position the project as a technological reference point at global level, drawing in energy companies and providing impetus to energy infrastructures.
The distribution networks supply electricity via high tension power to those points where it is made available for consumption in businesses and homes. The smart networks are basically distribution networks equipped with systems and elements that provide information to distribution companies and users with the aim of optimising electricity use. The implementation of a smart network entails, amongst other aspects, the substitution of the traditional meters for smart meters, capable of transmitting the periodic readings to the distribution companies automatically.
The objectives of the implementation of smart distribution networks are aimed at affording advantages and benefits, both for network users, society as a whole and the socio-economic environs. In a more detailed manner, the benefits afforded by smart networks are as follows:
Benefits for Users:
- The installation of smart meters provides consumers with information relating to their consumption habits and the quality of the supply they receive. In this manner, consumers can make informed decisions in relation to the electricity they use.
- Billing is always carried out on the basis of actual readings.
- Improvements in the quality of the electricity supply.
- Improvements in terms of attending to incidents and contractual modifications.
Benefits for the socio-economic environs:
- Advancement towards the integration of renewable energies, small distributed generation plants and electric vehicles.
- Impetus for an innovative project that will enable the validation of the technologies employed and their economic performance with the objective of extending implementation to other areas and positioning the project as a reference point at global level.
- The generation of investment in energy infrastructures, thereby attracting the associated economic and business activity.
Benefits for society
- Improvements in installation safety and operations.
- Reduction of CO2 emissions as a result of improved energy efficiency and the minimisation of leaks within the network.