R&D GENERATION AND RETAIL
Clean technologies and new projects and services to improve customer experience
The main innovative activities have focused on operational flexibility and efficiency, respect for the environment and improving facility safety. We are also working on developing products and services tailored to our customers' needs.
During 2017, the Generation Department's efforts were focused on two fundamental mainstays:
Operational flexibility and efficiency and facility safety
In terms of facility safety, the VIDAGEN Project continued with the aim of designing and developing a global life management tool for pressurised equipment with the possibility of integrating a structural analysis module at a later stage.
In the area of thermal generation, and as a continuation of the ambitious GT-CONTROLFLEX Project to provide flexibility to the operation of our generating facilities, we highlight the OCTAVE Project, which aims to develop combustion process diagnostic and control technologies to make our power stations more flexible. Both projects are key to guaranteeing the robustness and safety of the Spanish electricity system, and allowing the integration of intermittent renewable-type production into the generation mix.
The most important projects in the United Kingdom involve the study of joint combustion using syngas in combined cycle gas turbines at the Damhead Creek generation plant and the introduction of an APP (Advanced Power Package) at the Shoreham generation plant. In the area of hydraulic generation, the most notable project is the application of innovative machining techniques used to coat the spiral casings at Cruachan U3.
Respect for the environment
The Iberdrola Group maintains its firm commitment to reducing the impact on the environment of its generation facilities with the implementation of an ambitious project named CO2FORMARE. Thanks to this initiative, which is being undertaken in collaboration with Tecnalia and IK4-GAIKER, a sustainable solution to the problem of macrofouling in the cooling systems at electricity generation plants has been developed and tested in a sustainable manner and one which reduces environmental impact of emissions into both the atmosphere and aquatic environments.
During 2017, the Retail Department worked on the following initiatives:
New products and services to improve customer experience
Within our Made-to-Measure Plans new functions have been added to the Choose 8 Hours Plan, thereby removing the current restrictions on the choice of hours. Similarly, with the aim of increasing online sales, work has been carried out to improve the process of signing up online. The procedure has been simplified as much as possible and now enables the customer to sign up for the Made-to-Measure Plan that best suits their usage quickly and simply.
Likewise, thanks to the launching of Energy Wallet, Iberdrola offers customers the opportunity to buy green energy packages to cover an estimated period of six months, one year or two years. This new product will give customers advance knowledge of the total price of the energy purchased for the selected period, which they can choose to pay in fixed monthly instalments, according to the actual amount consumed, or in advance, which would also include a discount. What's more, the electricity sold in Energy Wallet comes with the guarantee that it is from 100% renewable origins, ensuring that the power comes from clean energy generation sources.
Smart Home (Smart Watering) and Smart Solar
The Smart Watering product was launched in 2017. It is a program that enables the watering of plants within the home environment to be scheduled and monitored efficiently. This product completes the Smart Home product range that includes smart thermostats, electric meters capable of individually identifying the consumption of the main domestic appliances, and smart LED bulbs that can be controlled from a mobile phone.
In relation to distributed generation solutions for self-consumption, Smart Solar, 2017 saw improvements to the product's functionalities and a review of the web tool for monitoring an installation's production.
In the UK, the company continues to develop new digital initiatives such as Smart Home and PowerUp. For its part, Iberdrola's North American subsidiary, AVANGRID, launched NYSEG Smart Solutions, an online shop which allows customers to securely search for, compare, and buy energy-efficient products, among many other options.
In addition, Iberdrola continues to participate in R&D projects in the Green Mobility area, a business department that responds to the demands of customers and society in general regarding electric mobility. In 2017, Iberdrola continued to participate in innovation projects involving community and regional funding, most notably the Azkarga, REMOURBAN and CIRVE Projects. In the REMOURBAN Project, Iberdrola is developing a public charging station network in the city of Valladolid and it has devised a sustainability assessment method for urban areas which will be implemented in several cities that are participating in the project. In the CIRVE Project, Iberdrola is collaborating in the development of quick charging corridors to facilitate electric vehicle mobility and to connect Spain with France and Portugal.