Facing increasing environmental concerns, UE adopted objectives trough the « 3×20 » guideline. The purpose is by 2020 to increase by 20% the renewable energy share in the European energy mix; to reduce by 20% the greenhouse gas emissions and to increase energy efficiency by 20%. The policies developed to achieve these objectives necessarily involve the modernization of the existing electrical power infrastructures. The curent French and European electrical power systems context stimulate the development of « Smart grids » to optimize the existing infrastructure rather than to invest in the replacement and the massive reinforcement of the networks.
How to make the electrical power system smarter?
Making grids smarter largely involves instrumenting them to enable them to communicate and to deliver reliable information on their real-time operational status. This communication capabilities are creating a new paradigm for the electrical power system stakeholders. The electrical system which is currently functioning as a silo is evolving toward a system where all stakeholders are interacting with each others to provide a more efficient, sustainable and safer electricity delivery.
RTE (the electricity transmission system operator in France) recently presented its roadmap to develop the national electricity transmission network. RTE anticipates its network development needs in the medium and long term to fit with the evolution of electricity flows and electricity mix by 2025-2030. The operator explains that by the end of the next decade, all infrastructures areas which need to be strengthened are identified. In the shorter term, RTE has identified the new network equipment which have to be set up within 3 years. (Mention © Actu-Environnement http://www.actu-environnement.com/ae/news/rte-developpement-reseau-decennnal-offshore-fessenheim-17113.php4)
The stakeholders in the new smart grids paradigm
In addition, RTE has launched a contest targeted to SMEs and startups to build the electrical power system of tomorrow. The solutions proposed by the SMEs and startups aim to develop systems to monitor electrical equipment and to collect useful data required for maintenance operations. The winning innovative solutions shortlisted by RTE enable the operator to optimize decisions in the management of electricity flows, to improve the network infrastructure availability, for a better performance and reliability of the electricity power system and also to deliver a better level of service.
The ADSMARTe project proposed by HIKOB has been selected by RTE to deploy a wireless sensors network system for remote monitoring of electric transforming stations and of aerial linear RTE transportation infrastructures. Wireless sensors measure climatic variables such as temperature or humidity and mechanical deformation parameters of electric pylons. This partnership between HIKOB and RTE includes a pilot deployment to validate the operational process of the system and to gather quantified feedback on the benefits of the the system.