Iberdrola is launching a Challenge call in collaboration with Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) and the Department for International Trade (Spain), inviting innovators developing products and services such as Anti-islanding Protection & Microgrid Solutions, to connect with global energy leader to explore collaboration opportunities.
The challenge is launched within the framework of the new smart grid innovation centre, the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub. Iberdrola will make the Hub the global benchmark in smart grids through open collaboration and co-working between i-DE technicians and suppliers, start-ups and different organisations from around the world.
Inversiones Financieras Perseo S.L., Iberdrola’s venture capital vehicle (hereinafter, “Perseo”), is launching this Challenge in partnership with ESC in the search for competitive, innovative solutions that make it possible to measure distribution grid phases, so that the system remains balanced.
Iberdrola has over 1.1 million kilometres of electricity transmission and distribution lines, spread throughout the United States, Brazil, the UK and Spain. This network comprises over 4,400 high to medium voltage sub-stations and more than 1.5 million medium to low voltage distribution transformers, built and operated to provide a high-quality and reliable service to a total of 31 million electricity supply points.
Electricity is transmitted within what we call a “three-phase system”, where three single-phase alternating voltages travel from generation assets to consumption points, passing through transmission and distribution grids, maintaining their frequency and with limited changes in their angles.
However, distributed generation allows for the creation, intentional or not, of islands, areas of the distribution grid that operate disconnected from the rest. In these islands, the voltage is generated internally and is therefore not synchronised with the rest of the grid.
To address this Iberdrola are looking for new innovative technologies and solutions to address synchronism between two different areas of the grid, that could be used for purposes related to the increasing connection of distributed renewable sources to the distribution grid.
Some example applications include (but are not limited to):
- Anti-islanding protection by measuring the synchronism loss of the generators with respect to a point of the reference grid.
- Microgrid solutions, working in isolation from the grid, not only to detect losses in the grid but also to synchronise the phases during reconnection after an outage in those cases in which disconnection is carried out by means of a remote switch and local measurements are not available.
Who should apply and why
SMEs from the UK and other countries with solutions in the smart grids that can address the challenges identified above regarding distributed generation and the grid.
Successful innovators will have the opportunity to pitch their technologies and solutions to Iberdrola and the potential for a partnership to test their technology in a pilot. In addition, the pilot’s final supplier will be included directly in the process of joining the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub, as one more collaborator who will be able to benefit from the services, activities and resources that are made available in the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub.
How to Apply
Closing date for applications has been extended to midnight Friday 14th May 2021.
Applications will be evaluated using the following criteria:
- Investor appetite for scope area
- Time horizon for market adoption
- The reliability and adequacy of the product or service
- Simplicity of use and interpretation of results of the product or service
- The cost of using both the systems and the associated telecommunications.
The proposals will be analysed by experts from Energy Systems Catapult and Iberdrola’s Grids Business Unit.
Process & Next Steps
Successful innovators will be invited to a pitching event hosted by the Catapult and Iberdrola in June, specific date to be confirmed. The pitching event will open up potential collaboration opportunities with Iberdrola, such as pilot projects and investment.
Successful innovators must be available to attend the pitching event in June. The closing date for applications is midnight on the Friday 14th of May.