Málaga, Seville and Barcelona now have 5,000 Endesa smart meters connected to the grid

By the end of 2010, Endesa should have 150,000 smart metres, which will mean a major leap towards smart grids.

A month ago, Endesa was the first company to hook up smart metres to the power grid in Spain in Málaga through the ‘Smartcity’ initiative, a project to create an energy efficient city spearheaded by Endesa.

Endesa’s remote management plan entails the installation of the new meters in the homes of the company’s 13 million domestic customers in Spain in less than six years. The plan involves investment of over Euro 1,600 million and will create some 2,000 direct jobs.

After the connection of Endesa’s first smart metres in Malaga a month ago, the power company now has 5,000 devices installed at customers’ homes in three provinces (Malaga, Seville and Barcelona), signalling the start-up in Spain of valued added electricity measuring services and a major step towards smart grids. Starting this month, the remote management system will be integrated with Endesa’s commercial and technical systems, which, combined with the installation of the new metres, will obtain the functions and benefits offered by remote control.

Thanks to this plan, the company is three years ahead of the deadline for compliance with pertinent European and Spanish legislation regarding the rollout of the remote management system and is at the technology forefront of the future smart grids.

The installation of the smart meter marks the start of the large-scale replacement of the old meters in homes; by the end of 2015, the new metre should be installed in 13 million customers’ homes, with contracted capacity of up to 15kW. The plan, developed by Endesa, entails investment of over Euro 1,600 million and will generate around 2,000 direct jobs.

Endesa will gradually replace old metering equipment, and the cities that already have the first smart metres will be followed by Badajoz, Zaragoza, Palma de Mallorca, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Tenerife, among others. By the end of 2010, there will be 150,000 smart meters in operation.

Production of the first 3,500,000 meters and the domestic installation operations are in the final phase of the tendering process. So far, bids by over 160 companies have been received, entailing 6 million operations on measuring devices in our customers’ homes per year.

Remote management will enable customers to determine their electricity consumption almost instantaneously and to select the best rates for their needs as well as plan consumption. Moreover, all connection, disconnection, reconnection, power control and rate change operations can be carried out remotely and in real time.

Remote management also has benefits for the electricity system: it provides reliable and constant information on the performance of the network, enhancing operational decision-making; improves the overall efficiency of the electricity system, helping to avoid overloads; helps reduce distribution losses; and enhances management of energy demand, improving energy efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.

Thanks to the installation of smart meters, customers will be able to enjoy the future commercial and management applications offered by the next generation of electricity networks. In this way Endesa is taking the first step towards the creation of smart grids and this is why the company chose to install the first meters in Smartcity. The SmartCity project is a groundbreaking initiative in Malaga spearheaded by Endesa, which is leading a group of 11 companies to develop a new energy management model for cities to achieve greater energy efficiency, lower CO2 emissions and increase consumption of renewable energy. It is a community of 300 industrial, 900 service and 11,000 domestic customers.

New generation smart meters.

Endesa started working on the project in 2002 with the aim of providing remote management services to domestic customers (contracts with power equal to or lower than 15kW) so that they can plan their electricity consumption in a more efficient, precise and flexible manner. The first pilot tests took place in 2007 and 2008 and involved 12,000 customers in Andalusia and Catalonia. As a result Endesa became the first Spanish company to develop a remote management system in line with pertinent Spanish and European directives. The company, drawing on the experience and know-how of Enel (which already successfully uses a similar remote management system for over 32 million customers in Italy), has developed a new generation of meters based on the latest available technology and is ahead of the legal deadline for their large-scale installation.

The meter will be installed without inconveniencing customers as no work is required. In addition to the equipment installed in the homes of customers, Endesa will set up a so-called “concentrator” system in all its LV transformer centres which will manage the meters automatically and remotely, communicating with them via the electricity grid and using a PLC communication protocol. Data encryption and authentication ensure complete security for the customer and for the information that will be transported via the network.

This PLC telecommunications protocol, developed with Enel, is already available to the sector via the Meters and More company set up by Endesa and Enel in Brussels to manage the standardisation of the technology with any company that may be interested in Europe.

Endesa’s remote management system was recently recognised in the European Utility Awards at the Metering Europe 2009 conference, where it won a prize in the Business Performance category. This award confirms the quality of the leading-edge technology employed in the remote management project, the only large-scale installation initiative currently underway in Europe.

The advantages of remote management:

For the customer:

-Precise reading of consumption, on site and remote.

-Better information on energy consumption, resulting in savings and improved efficiency.

-Better commercial service: real-time remote operations (connections, disconnections, modifications and reconnections,…).

-Simplification of power changes, incorporating control into the meter and eliminating power control switches.

-Permits the application of more flexible rates.

-Permits two-way communication between the customer and the company: helps manage loads and energy consumption, saving money and improving efficiency.

-Will make it possible to offer potential value-added services provided by smart grids and to remotely read other utility supplies.

For the electricity system::

-Allows the smart management of peaks in demand.

-More reliable information on grid performance.

-Improved flexibility to deal with regulatory changes.

-Makes fraud easier to detect.

Development of the electric vehicle at ENDESA

The development of a sustainable transport policy is a cornerstone of ENDESA’s 2008-2012 Strategic Sustainability Plan.

In Spain, the company is involved in rolling out electric mobility projects (MOVELE project) in Madrid and Barcelona, and in the main technological initiatives (Cenit VERDE, DER22@ and REVE-Regulación Eólica con Vehículos Eléctricos projects). It also recently entered into agreements with leading companies, such as Peugeot, to promote electric cars.

In Europe, ENDESA is the only Spanish company involved in the ELVIRE and G4V consortia aimed at developing the necessary technology, solutions and services to enable ongoing interaction between drivers, their power suppliers and the smart grid. These projects also evaluate the impact of a large-scale introduction of EV on the power grid.

ENDESA was also one of the first companies to join international standardisation and regulation groups for electric mobility equipment, systems and solutions and has recently teamed up with CHAdeMO, the Japanese association that provides fast charge services for EV users and boasts the largest global footprint, to expand the installation of these recharging points worldwide and set recharge standards.