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March 2018
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Smart electrical networks Smart Grid in Russia: cases, perspectives, difficulties

The condition of power grids in Russia is approaching critical wear rate. The efficiency and strength capacity of energy systems is almost outspent. So far, approximately 60-70% of the power grid property assets served out their age long time ago. In circumstances where the volume of energy consumption increases heavily, dispatching offices do not always cope with emerging situations resulting related effects and losses for energy companies. The need for new
modern solutions for such situations is not just a matter of minimizing losses. Generally, it’s an energy industry growth factor.

Modern energy system loads require fast and maximum accurate analysis of operating system condition for problems localization or preventing such ones by predicting information about the loads on individual segments of the system. In this regard, energy grids require increasingly supplementation with new digital smart solutions, which are able to help to complete tasks in collecting and analyzing a large amount of data.

In a number of European countries, the modernization process of the energy industry in the direction of creating "smart" electricity networks called the Smart Grid. This process has been systematically and consistently going on for a long time. "Smart" management of electricity network provides automation, monitoring and control of two-way energy transmission at all stages - from the power plant to a household outlet. For such size like Russia has it is not so simple to quickly implement and fully switch to the use of Smart Grid solutions. Nevertheless, projects to integrate “smart” technologies into industrial energy are no longer a matter of talk about the future.

And what about us?

The first "smart" distribution grid appeared in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan, later in Irkutsk. One of such projects is a pilot zone, implemented together with “Lenenergo”. It includes a 6 kV grid section in the historic part of St. Petersburg. The project goal is to confirm the operability of proposed solutions and technologies, demonstrate on a real example the possibility of integration into the Smart Grid network.

Also, it is worth to pay attention to the project in Siberia, where Smart Grid technologies are being implemented on the basis of “Irkutsk Electric Grid Company”. Schneider Electric company has provided a set of services to establish a "smart" grid, including design, supply and installation of equipment, software installation and following support services. Moreover, the staff was trained to the basics of working with new technology.

The next successful project is the case of JSC "Bashkir Electric Grid Company" in Ufa. At the moment, a pilot project is being implemented and the work is in the process of this project distribution on the whole city. Within the pilot project, outdated equipment was replaced with a new one with visibility and management functions as well as with a high level of safety and reliability. Also, commercial electricity metering devices were installed and a grid management center was established for the city. As a result of the project implementation, the actual level of electricity losses decreased from 19% to 1%.

According to Dmitry Sharovatov, CEO of JSC "Bashkir Electric Grid Company": "Without new approaches in forming business processes and organizing industrial processes, there will be no future for any industry, including energy industry".

Certainly, Smart Grid concept implementation in Russia is a long and multi-stage process. At the same time, the use of "smart" platforms for managing big data in energy consumption gives a whole list of advantages.

One of the most important features of “smart” systems is the ability to reduce operating costs. New generation electric substations allow reducing current costs by combining several control and monitoring systems into one network. At the same time, there is a decrease in capital spending. An equally important consequence of smart grids implementation is the energy system protection improvement as the information from all stations and electric substations can be controlled from one application.

Smart grids advantages (operational efficiency, appropriate response, grid reliability)

In general, the Smart Grid project has a medium- and long-term horizon of investment payback. You need a whole range of activities to make the grid cost-effective and smart. A year and a half are required for the system to reimburse investments based on European countries experience.

Today the vast majority of innovative technologies in the energy industry has been developed abroad. Therefore, most smart systems of control and monitoring cannot be fully used in Russian grids, because there are some technological differences in the energy infrastructure of Russia and Western countries. In this regard, domestic developments in the Internet of Things, smart microgrids, systems for energy systems analysis and management have all chances to secure a foothold in a huge market that has just begun to develop.

Smart solutions in energy sector market are waiting for those that will be directed first of all to solve the main tasks of the industry: improving energy supply quality and reliability, increasing operational efficiency, improving technical conditions of energy infrastructure, improving energy efficiency.

You will have a chance to discuss the smart energy solutions development prospects, as well as meet the ready smart solutions for energy market in Russia at Smart Energy Summit 2018 on March 27-28 in Moscow.

A full list of participants and program details are available after completing this form.

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