ABB to deploy smart-grid systems in Rome for ACEA

ABB is to help Italian utility Azienda Comunale Elettricita e Acque (ACEA) with the deployment of a smart grid across part of Rome’s electrical distribution network.

The automation-technology player will supply medium-voltage products to ACEA (Rome, Italy) as part of the smart-grid initiative, which forms one of eight pilot projects that have won approval and received financial support from the Italian Regulatory Authority for Electricity and Gas.

ABB (Zurich, Switzerland) says it will supply its UniSec switchgear – which has been developed for smart-grid applications and combines current and voltage sensors for use in secondary substations.

The switchgear also includes devices for primary substations and for interfacing with distributed generation in secondary distribution substations to improve reliability and availability.

“The installation of these intelligent products will result in reduced number of outages and cut down the average duration of service interruptions,” said Bruno Melles, the head of ABB’s medium voltage products business. “Eventually this results in better power services to consumers.”

ABB says the system uses wireless network connectivity to ensure devices and substations are able to communicate with one another.

ABB says the project will build on experiments it has been conducting with ACEA on sections of Rome’s electrical grid and involving two primary substations, 76 secondary substations, four distributed generation plants, several customers connected at a medium voltage level and around 1,200 low-voltage users.

Many of the simulations were carried out at ABB’s smart lab in Dalmine.

The company says that integrating intelligent power solutions in infrastructure development will help “mega” cities to address growing demand for power and create a “strong foundation for a sustainable urban future”.

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