Six European distribution system operators (DSOs) announce six projects they are partnering on in a large-scale smart grid demonstration (GRID4EU). The DSOs, which cover 50% of the metered electricity customers in Europe, launched the demonstration in 2011 and will conclude it in 2015.

The demonstration's 27 partners include utilities, energy suppliers, manufacturers and research institutes. The objectives of the demonstration are to develop and test innovative technologies, define standards, guarantee the scalability of and ability to replicate technologies, and analyze cost benefits.

Carros, France: The project will analyze users participating in the energy market through demand response and distributed generation (DG) devices, and how smart managers can give load managers more control over load management, forecasting, storage and outages at the low-voltage (LV) level.

Vrchlabi, Czech Republic: The project will look at how combined heat and power DG generators can run in “island mode” in large-scale medium-voltage (MV) and LV networks connected to the wider grid or run independently.

Emilia-Romagna, Italy: The project will analyze how DG can boost the ability of MV networks to host renewable sources through advanced systems that communication with storage facilities using “always on” communications.

Castellon, Spain: The pilot will study how intermediate connectors in secondary substations can help distribution firms with system management and support active demand with a focus on electric vehicles and other DG devices, automate MV networks and make LV lines more visible.

Uppsala, Sweden: The project will monitor and control LV networks using existing and enhanced advanced meter technology. Data from the system will help distributors and their customers (aggregators and retailers) manage their systems.

Reken, North-Rhine Westphalia Germany: The project is a multi-agent system in MV network operation that allows integration of DG devices in MV and LV networks. The goal is greater reliability, faster recovery in grid failures, overload avoidance and the potential for network surveillance and remote control.

For more information, visit www.Grid4eu.en.