Smart grids to step into urban living

An Expert's View about Energy Efficiency in Finland

Posted on: 19 Oct 2010

The most important step in the transition to the smart grid is automation expansion for the consumers through real life demonstrations.

16 October 2010 Smart grids to step into urban living The intelligence of an electricity network in practice means in that more automation and flexibly managed resources - such as small-scale production, loads, energy storages - are brought to the network. However, the most important step in the transition to the smart grid is automation expansion for the consumers as well. To respond to this challenge, Finnish organizations have launched a research program and projects to produce smart energy to: Fingrid solutions for real life demonstrations Pho. The pilot projects are initiatives from a research program launched this spring by the Strategic Centre for Science, Technology and Innovation for Energy and Environment, CLEEN Ltd. The ground for the five-year program Smart Grids and Energy Markets (SGEM) was created through research programs carried out by Finnish research organizations and companies during the years 2008-2010. The program aims to develop international smart grid solutions that can be demonstrated in a real environment. At the same time, the benefits of an interactive international research environment will accumulate know-how of the world-leading ICT and smart grid providers. Helsinki block demonstrates a wide grid A new block is being built in Kalasatama area in Helsinki. It is a long term construction project that will offer 10 000 jobs and homes for 18 000 people by the beginning of 2030. The first residential buildings are estimated to be completed by Copyright: Adactive Oy the end of 2011. Through intelligent energy systems, also the role of the future Kalasatama residents will change into active energy users. Within the smart grids, it is also important to integrate the real estate and other local energy solutions into wider energy system. These solutions include, inter alia, locally produced renewable energy such as solar power and infrastructure supporting electric cars. Electric transport will be basic premise for Kalasatama, in which public transport solutions support the environmental-friendliness. Vision for the smart energy solutions in Kalasatama is based on cooperation with members of the SGEM research program, Helsingin Energia, ABB, and Nokia Siemens Networks. The City of Helsinki is also strongly involved in the project. ?The operational model is optimal in a sense that the same parties who are involved in doing the research, carry out also the practical demonstrations,? says Markku Hyvärinen, Head of Development at Helen Sähköverkko Oy. Espoo demonstrates living in apartment house Demonstration sustainable urban living in a apartment house, named Adjutantti, is another example resulting from the SGEM research program. "Adjutantti is a very concrete concept of urban living, where energy efficiency will be maximized. New technologies are brought close to the consumer for them to try and test out the solutions," describes Vesa Photo: Skanska Koivisto, Business Development Manager at Fortum. Residents of Adjutantti will contribute towards more sustainable development, as it will be able to produce solar energy power. Solar energy is used, for instance, to charge the electric car meant for joint use for the residents, and for stairwell lighting. Comprehensive energy monitoring systems will be installed to the apartments. Through this system, residents are able to monitor their energy consumption almost in real time, including water, heating and electricity consumption. Residential buildings are estimated to be completed by the end of 2011. Project cooperation- partners in addition to Fortum are Skanska and ABB. The main chracteristics of traditional and smart grid In smart grids the customer interface will be bidirectional. Small producers have the opportunity to participate into the electricity market in addition to large-scale producers. Customers may transfer the additional self-produced, zero-emissions electricity to the national grid. In addition, network reliability is improved. "In the future, consumers can control their own electricity consumption, for example by controlling the use of energy to a more favourable time of the day," says Jarmo Partanen, Electrical Engineering Professor from Lappeenranta University of Technology. Sources: CLEEN Ltd SGEM program Related: Creating new tools for environmental monitoring Intelligent electricity networks to act as an interactive market place
Posted: 19 October 2010

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