Page 44 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2015 publication
P. 44
Winter 2015 European Energy Innovation


The ‘Digital DSO’ and the smart grid

By Ana Aguado, Secretary General, EDSO for Smart Grids (pictured)

As highlighted by Connectivity: Every asset, every EMERGING VISION OF A
the European device, every person is now DIGITAL DSO
Commission’s connected and inter-connected Traditionally, DSOs operated
“Digital Single Market via wireless (and sometimes as asset-centric companies,
Strategy,” in recent years digital wireline) communications. physically managing electricity
technology has been changing distribution infrastructure
not just our economy but also Collaboration: This connectivity assets, such as electrical lines
our daily lives. And this digital allows for multiple forms of and cables, substations and
technological change is expected collaboration to increase transformers. With the upgrading
to continue for some time to of these distribution networks
come. HIƓFLHQF\DQGLPSURYH into ‘smart grids,’ however, the
performance. Such collaboration asset base is being expanded
A number of interdependent includes consumer to network to include equipment such as
digital trends are prompting operator via smart meters and M2M monitors and sensors
electricity distribution system machine-to-machine (M2M) smart and smart meters. This also is
operators (DSOs) to refocus appliances in consumer premises leading to DSOs becoming
their business and strategy on – among others. data-centric companies, using
digitalisation and to deploy ‘smart digital technologies to optimise
grids.’ Some of these trends Personal data innovation asset management, and improve
include: (while respecting privacy): data network operation and increase
management innovations are customer service.
emerging even while complying
with the current and future data An emerging vision of a ‘Digital
protection legal framework. DSO,’ to which EDSO for Smart
Grid members are aspiring, is
Big data: With the deployment of an upgraded network and
of intelligent sensors, smart systems with:
meters and smart appliances
and devices (i.e., the ‘Internet of Digitalisation in network
Things’), the volume of data is management
increasing exponentially. New • robust cybersecurity;
forms of collecting, storing and • ability to predict and
processing data will result in
improved operations and enable handle power infeed with
new business opportunities.
Open data: initiatives for all
government and other public to manage Intermittent
data to be published and made and decentralised power
openly re-usable will lead to production;
the development of innovative • evaluation of energy data
applications and services. For to predict grid loads and
DSOs, an open data approach anticipate bottlenecks. This
could be pursued in the context allows for the optimisation of
of smart meter data. network investments;
• real-time processing of load
Cybersecurity: Connected, data, enabling the integration
collaborative energy networks with demand/supply balancing
and systems and the use of cloud service to optimise grid
computing are potential target for utilisation;
cyber attacks. Securing such smart • new capabilities in predictive
grids has to be a top priority. maintenance and self-healing
concepts help to further
reduce operational costs;
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