Iberdrola believes that the transition towards a new energy model, based on electrification and the incorporation of more renewables, requires accelerating investments in electricity distribution networks. In order to respond to the challenges and to lead innovation in networks infrastructure, the company has announced the launch of a Global Smartgrid Innovation Hub. The hub will act as a platform for driving innovation, combining its technological capabilities with that of suppliers, collaborators and startups from all across the world.
In the context of a green recovery, the hub is designed to support cutting-edge projects in smart grid technologies that will benefit local industries, promote global innovation, and attract investment to enhance the growth of communities.
The innovation hub, located in Spain at the company’s Distribution Operation Center in Bilbao, will start operating in the spring of 2021. Iberdrola has already identified more than 120 innovation projects worth €110 million. The lines of work, which are international in scope, will enable the development and deployment of innovative solutions to the company’s electricity network activities throughout the world.
The initiative will involve the collaboration of more than 200 professionals to develop R+D+i projects related to the new challenges of electricity networks. This will include enhanced digitalization, data analytics and the resilience and flexibility of the network to manage new consumption models, including electric mobility and self-generation.
Collaborating in the project is the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, which will facilitate the relationship between the innovation ecosystem and the financial tools to accelerate startup participation.
Investment in R&D&I to meet the challenges of the green economy
Over the past decade, Iberdrola accumulated investment in R+D+I activities related to renewables, electricity networks, storage and consumer solutions is close to €2 billion. This commitment makes it the world’s third most innovative energy company.
Over the last two years, the company has developed 85 innovation projects, becoming world leader in smart grid technology.
In recent years, the group’s distribution companies have deployed nearly 14 million smart meters – out of a total 20 million planned – in the markets where they operate, and have adapted the electrical infrastructure that supports them by adding remote management, supervision and automation capabilities.
The company manages 1.2 million km of power lines and more than 4,400 substations, which distribute electricity to more than 30 million people worldwide