Croatian distribution operator HEP-Operator distribucijskog sustava (HEP ODS) has kicked off an HRK177 million ($27.5 million) smart grid pilot.
The project to be completed by the end of 2022 is focussed on the digitalisation of the network and the creation of conditions for the integration of distributed resources.
Three functional areas of the business will be addressed, an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), upgrading of the distribution network and automation of the medium voltage network.
The implementation of the AMI is proposed to improve metering, billing and loss management. To that end, 24,000 customers’ meters will be exchanged with advanced meters and summation meters will be installed into 6,125 transformer substations.
On the distribution network, 449 transformers will be exchanged with more efficient alternatives to lower the technical losses. On the medium voltage network, 670 remotely controllable devices will be installed to improve the reliability of supply and enable the wider integration of renewables.
The project cost of HRK176.8 million is 85% co-financed from the European Regional Development Fund.
HEP ODS plans to invest an additional HRK52 million to provide a total smart grid investment of HRK230 million ($35.9 million). The project encompasses the medium voltage network and users on the distribution network in five out of HEP ODS’s 21 distribution areas, Elektra Zagreb, Elektroslavonija Osijek, Elektrodalmacija Split, Elektra Zadar and Elektrojug Dubrovnik.
Frane Barbarić, president of HEP’s Management Board, said: “We in HEP are ready to be the bearer of the Croatian energy transition towards a low carbon society, which we have confirmed through successful launch of the renewable development scenario.
“An important element of that scenario is a reliable, modern, effective and flexible system of electricity distribution based on the concept of smart grids.”