GLOBAL SMART GRIDS INNOVATION HUB

Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub: we lead innovation in smart grids

Iberdrola has created the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, a global innovation and knowledge centre that will be a world reference in smart grids and will enable it to respond to the challenges of the energy transition. The centre will act as a driving platform for innovation, combining the company's technological capacity with that of collaborators: suppliers, universities, technology centres and startups. It will also attract strategic suppliers and international talent, thereby strengthening the business ecosystem.

MISSION: LEAD THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Iberdrola intends to remain at the forefront of the energy transition by developing new business and technological models in distribution networks. With the creation of the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, the group aims to double the number of smart grid innovation projects, consolidating and expanding the current successful collaboration model with electrical equipment manufacturers.

The company has already identified more than 120 projects for future development with a value of 110 million euros. The lines of work, which are international in scope, will enable the development and deployment of innovative solutions for the activity of Iberdrola Networks throughout the world.

The group will bring together the innovative potential of more than 200 professionals in undertaking R&D&i projects related to the challenges of the electricity networks of the future, including greater digitalisation, the processing of the data generated by this infrastructure and the response, in terms of robustness and flexibility, of the electricity grid to new models of consumption, such as electric mobility and self-consumption.

In addition, the centre will be established as a market-oriented technological collaboration space, where the best international talent will always be in contact with suppliers, startups and universities to stimulate their industrial capacity and accelerate innovation processes.

The innovation hub will cover over 1,000 m2 and will be located in one of Iberdrola's buildings in Larraskitu (Biscay). It has the support of the Regional Government of Biscay, which will facilitate the interaction with a dynamic, totally innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem. It is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021.

Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub: world centre for smart grid innovation.#RRSSGlobal Smart Grids Innovation Hub: world centre for smart grid innovation.

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MAIN OBJECTIVES OF THE GLOBAL SMART GRIDS INNOVATION HUB

Its objectives include:

 Develop the next generation of smart grids, with special attention to distribution system operators (DSOs), in order to take advantage of Iberdrola's capabilities and expert knowledge in this field, which can serve as a reference for the different actors: suppliers, customers, regulators, etc.

 Establish a state-of-the-art technology centre in electricity distribution, partnering with relevant new and established actors.

 Create solid business proposals for the opportunities (and obligations) generated by smart grids for Iberdrola and its partners.

 Facilitate the implementation of new technological solutions to improve customer relations through user empowerment, new commercial proposals, customer interactions, user satisfaction, etc.

 Reduce operating costs by applying new technologies and solutions in the distribution network: more automation, remote control, digitalisation of the transformation centres, Internet of things, machine learning, from meter to cash, etc.

 Enable a more effective and early response to forthcoming legislative requirements and incentives in each of the locations where Iberdrola operates: United Kingdom, United States, Brazil and Spain.

 Maximise the potential of smart grids as a vehicle for job creation and generation of a positive impact.

 Develop a place of open collaboration, coworking and development solutions in partnership with manufacturers and startups.

 Promote development and training in disruptive technologies in the energy sector.

 Reinforce the innovation leadership of i-DE, promoting its alliance with the wider local industrial fabric, to allow for efficiency of costs and processes.

 Make the innovative efforts of Iberdrola and the Provincial Council of Biscay visible, positioning Bilbao and Biscay at the forefront of technological development.

MORE THAN 1,000 M2 TO BECOME A GLOBAL BENCHMARK FOR INNOVATION

WE ARE PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SMART GRIDS OF THE FUTURE

The activity of the centre will be structured around three main areas:

 Technological activity

This is the main one, defined and led by Iberdrola to strengthen its current and future knowledge and positioning in smart grids. Four strategic lines stand out within this activity:

Customer service

Customer service


Projects related to customer orientation.


  • Advice on issues related to tariffs, self-consumption, DER, electric vehicle,, etc.

  • Interaction with the network: new developments that give the client the opportunity to interact with the network more (connection/disconnection of homes, In-Home Display, virtual assistants, etc.)

Distribution system operator (DSOs)

Distribution system operator (DSO)


  • Flexibility: projects that do not apply traditional network criteria (too conservative in terms of available capacity) and can provide the network with flexibility so that it can be operated efficiently in all scenarios and is not be as static as it has traditionally been.

  • Regulation: impact, analysis and orientation towards possible regulatory mechanisms regarding climate change, electric vehicle, energy storage and losses.

New technologies

New technologies


Smart grids

Smart grids


  • Infrastructure: Telecommunications and Telecontrol.

  • Digitization of network assets: developments on assets to have a more flexible and automated network with a higher level of monitoring.

  • System renovation and integration of new functionalities to plan, operate and maintain the distribution network.

 Non-technological activity

To make the most of the local ecosystem and take advantage of future opportunities at global level. This will include scholarship, incubation and acceleration programmes and agreements with local academic institutions and global benchmarks.

 Management

Control and visibility of all activities, budget control, synergies and collaborations with technological partners and Basque institutions, etc.

PIONEERS IN SMART GRID INNOVATION

The Iberdrola group is committed to smart grids as one of the fundamental pillars on which the energy transition is based. As a result, 40 % of its planned organic investments for the period 2020-2025 (over 27 billion euros) will be in networks, bringing its regulated asset base to 47 billion euros in 2025, 1.5 times its current value.

The company, which is at the forefront of digital transformation, focuses on innovation in the area of networks with the aim of offering its clients an excellent service, based on quality of supply and network information; maximising the efficiency of the system's operations through operational excellence and the digitalisation of its assets; and leading the transformation towards a more efficient integration of energy distribution and the introduction of electric vehicles.

The network business offers opportunities for innovation in order to digitalise the system and develop new products and services for customers, as well as to meet its need for technology and disruptive business models.