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As part of the STAR project for installing state-of-the-art electricity grids

Iberdrola passes nine-million mark as regards number of smart meters installed in Spain

  • The company has already modernised 85% of its meter facilities with a total capacity under contract of 15 kW or less: some 10.5 million systems
  • This initiative is being carried out by the company in 10 autonomous regions. It is due for completion in 2018 and the total investment will exceed €2 billion
  • The volume of smart meters installed and connected means that Iberdrola is one of the most advanced companies in the world when it comes to the infrastructure needed for smart electricity grids.

In early February, the number of smart meters installed by Iberdrola Distribución in Spain passed the nine-million mark. This work is being completed as part of the STAR project ( Spanish acronym for Remote Grid Management and Automation System) in the 10 autonomous regions where the company has electricity distribution networks.

The company has modernised 85% of all its meters in Spain with a capacity under contract of 15 kW or less (which amount to some 10.5 million devices altogether). It is now ahead of the official schedule set by the Spanish Ministry of Industry.

Iberdrola has also adapted around 55,000 transformer stations throughout Spain, equipping them with remote management, supervision and automation capabilities.

This means that Iberdrola is one of the most advanced companies in the world when it comes to the infrastructure needed for smart electricity grids, on account of the volume of smart meters it has installed and connected and the simultaneous adaptation of its distribution network with the addition of real-time supervision and automation capabilities.

Having a smart meter with remote management means that customers can visit the website to check their daily, weekly and monthly consumption curves and find out the highest capacity required, as well as many other items of data. This information shows the breakdown for the electricity consumption so that it may be used more efficiently and to make it easier to decide on the type of rate that suits each profile best.

Iberdrola employs the most stringent international standards and robust encryption algorithms that offer maximum security in order to guarantee the authentication, confidentiality and privacy of each individual digital device with specific user IDs and passwords.   The digital meters also use high-security cryptographic keys, in keeping with the standards in place on an international basis in the sector, ensuring that data packages are encrypted and authenticated before leaving the devices.

Apart from meeting the official schedule for the roll-out of remote management capabilities, IBERDROLA also intends to use this project as a springboard for technological evolution and upgrading its electricity distribution network by digitising and automating it with the new smart grid technologies.

The STAR project will require an overall investment by the company in Spain amounting to over €2 billion. It is expected to be completed in the year 2018 and will involve the replacement of over 10.5 million meters and the adaptation of some 80,000 transformer stations.


IBERDROLA boosts business sector

The gradual roll-out of smart grids in Spain once again demonstrates IBERDROLA's strong pull effect on the domestic business sector and the associated positive impact on job creation and maintenance.

In this regard, the company has awarded contracts linked to the STAR project in recent years to various manufacturers and suppliers, such as Indra, AEG, Arteche, Elecnor, GE, Gobesa, Ibérica Aparellajes, Premium, Fanox, Ingeteam, Landis&Gyr, Mesa, Orbis, Ormazábal, Sagemcom, Schneider, Siemens, Sogecam, Teldat, Zigor or ZIV, valued at about €900 million.

Some of the main advantages of smart grids are the integration of generation from renewable sources, the possibility of rolling out electric vehicles on a mass scale and the improved efficiency in electricity consumption. In this latter area, they will allow for the instantaneous remote provision of various services, such as real-time meter-readings, processing contract registrations and cancellations or altering the capacity under contract.