At first glance, Freiamt, a small town in Baden-Wuerttemberg close to the French border, seems an unlikely location for the next step in the future of energy distribution. But thanks to forward-thinking decisions made over 20 years ago and the work of a project team consisting of nine energy market players, including the local utility provider Netze BW and Landis+Gyr, big things are happening.
Reliable and efficient delivery of energy in a dynamic smart grid environment remains a number one priority for distribution system operators in Europe. Increased load and distributed generation make the existing energy network more vulnerable to shortages and grid congestion. However, monitoring transformer loads, and electric power quality help prevent incidents and protect utilities’ power distribution assets.
In an eight-month pilot project, Liechtensteinische Kraftwerke (LKW) and Landis+Gyr are testing the potential of Advanced Grid Analytics for typical utility company processes in medium- and low-voltage networks. The aim of the pilot project is to demonstrate the effectiveness of smart meter data for grid analysis and optimization. The project was launched at the beginning of September this year, and once it is successfully completed, country-wide rollout is planned with a total of 27,000 metering points.
Future-proofing the grid infrastructure has become one of the major concerns of utilities facing rapid changes in the market regulatory and technological requirements. Energy providers strive to continuously improve their quality of service to end consumers by maintaining stability of power supply and network efficiency. To achieve that, they require a top-quality proven technology from a trusted partner with long-term experience and in-depth industry knowledge.
When utilities look into the future, they see a market in a state of constant change. The ongoing industry transformation including digitalization and changing market landscapes means that the utilities market of the future will be vastly different to how it is today.