ABB delivers the latest smart grid technologies to ‘Innovative Cities’ pilot in Finland

2014-09-23 - ABB is joining forces with the University of Vaasa and companies from the energy and ICT sectors in the Vaasa region to pilot the latest smart grid technologies in Finland.

This is the first smart grid pilot within the Innovative Cities program, which is co-funded by TEKES, the Finnish funding agency for innovation. The program’s ultimate goal is to enhance distribution reliability and efficiency and to enable sustainable energy solutions, such as wind and solar power. One of the objectives is to investigate how to reduce the need for infrastructure investments through the maximum use of the latest technologies for distribution automation.

ABB will deliver state of the art technology for automating the network fault management of the power grid that serves the Sundom village, which is located near the city of Vaasa and served by Vaasan Sähkö, the utility involved in the project. The driving factor for installing the technology is the upcoming amendments to Finland’s Electricity Market Act. New regulations will be phased in by the year 2028. The need for a more reliable and smarter grid to meet consumer demand has led utilities to reinvest in distribution grids.

One of the most important features of the network automation technology is the intermittent earth fault detection management system, which is critical when the share of cable networks in the grid increases. This system sends its data in real time through the comprehensive optical fiber network, which is located in the area surrounding the Sundom village. The data is collected at the service center of Anvia, a Finnish ICT company and one of the project proponents, where it will be made available to all parties involved in the project. As a result, the University of Vaasa is presented with a unique opportunity to study the impact of underground cables, network automation and cost-effectiveness in a live environment. The goal is to provide consumers with electricity reliably and as inexpensively as possible.

“The pilot is a great example of the cooperation between the energy sector companies in the Vaasa region. There is a great demand for smart grid solutions, not only in Finland, but throughout Europe," says Bruno Melles, head of ABB’s Medium Voltage products business, a part of the company’s Power Products division.

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