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Renowned European Energy Industry Leader Joins Smart Wires
March 17, 2020
Dr. Susanne Nies joins as General Manager, Germany, to assist company’s further expansion into European market.
Global power technology company, Smart Wires, today announced the hiring of renowned European energy industry leader, Dr. Susanne Nies.
Dr. Nies joins Smart Wires as General Manager, Germany, and will be based in Berlin.
As one of Europe’s leading energy figures, Dr. Nies brings with her vast experience which will assist the company as it expands further into the European market.
“The European energy industry is at a real turning point,” said Smart Wires’ Managing Director of Europe, Michael Walsh.
“With the EU’s new Green Deal policy, and the significant green energy targets many European governments have announced, Europe is leading the world in this area. We’re on the cusp of seeing real change and a material shift in progress towards achieving the energy transition,” he said.
“As a major figure in the energy industry, Susanne’s arrival at Smart Wires significantly bolsters our presence in the European market, as we work to help utilities reduce constraints that limit the flow of clean power through the existing grid. This will help society accelerate decarbonization and achieve our clean energy targets,” he said.
On her decision to join Smart Wires, Dr. Nies said: “I have been watching Smart Wires with great interest for years now. The company’s technology is truly innovative, and represents game-changing solutions for the global energy industry,” she said.
Prior to joining Smart Wires, Dr. Nies led ENTSO-E’s (European Network of Transmission System Operators) Strategy, Research and Communication team, where her responsibilities included ensuring broad strategic alignment of European TSOs, leading the regulatory benchmarking of TSOs, developing the TSO-DSO interaction strategy, and managing stakeholder relationships.
She has also worked for EURELECTRIC (European power sector association) heading the DSOs department, Energy Policy department and Power Generation department; the French Think Tank IFRI, based in Paris; in French and German universities; and the German Heinrich Boell Foundation.
The challenges and opportunities facing Ireland’s energy industry
January 27, 2020
A group of leading figures from Ireland’s energy industry came together to discuss the country’s energy transition issues and current business landscape.
Hosted by pioneering power technology company, Smart Wires, guests included representatives from Enterprise Ireland, ESB, IDA, Irish Wind Energy Association, SuperNode, SSE, SEAI and UCD.
The discussion took place against the backdrop of the EU-funded Horizon 2020 Flexitranstore project – guests had the opportunity to view and tour Smart Wires’ revolutionary mobile power flow control unit, as it travels from the USA on its way to deployment on the Greek Transmission System.
Commencing proceedings, Smart Wires’ European Managing Director, Michael Walsh, asked the group about the industry issues keeping them awake at night, challenges to overcome, and progress they see being made.
Grid capacity and access was unsurprisingly a key focus of discussion.
For Noel Cunniffe from the Irish Wind Energy Association, grid capacity, public acceptance, and government policy are the key issues facing the wind industry. IWEA see a divergence between public policy and bringing renewables on to the grid that needs to be addressed.
Noel Cunniffe, IWEA
“Many of our new wind farm connections have non-firm access, due to grid capacity limitations. Congestion is a big issue which may prevent new wind farm connections and is constraining the output of existing wind farms.
“If we’re to meet the Government’s renewable electricity target of 70% by 2030, technology companies such as Smart Wires working in partnership with System Operators could be a win-win for everyone.”
Jane McArdle from SSE Airtricity manages similar challenges with regard to constraints.
Jane McArdle, SSE Airtricity
“We can be granted access for a wind farm, only to find that shortly after we connect we’re constrained for three months.
This technology is an obvious solution to reduce constraints, particularly when connecting new generation.”
John Fitzgerald, CEO of SuperNode, sees similarities between the challenges facing the Irish industry with those facing the rest of Europe. In this role he regularly meets with European stakeholders such as utilities, ENTSO-E, Eurelectric etc., and discusses the challenges of the future grid. They all see the need for increased levels of flexibility at transmission and distribution, and with generation and supply. John sees the pace of change as another industry challenge – technology is often evolving at a faster pace than policy, leading to suboptimal decision making.
John Fitzgerald, SuperNode
“The key challenge as we move toward the future grid is flexibility. It’s a big problem so there is huge scope for solutions – both technology and policy.”
Referring to his role in assessing and working with EU-funded projects at Enterprise Ireland, Philip Cheasty made the point that these funding initiatives provide a great opportunity for the industry at large.
Philip Cheasty, Enterprise Island
“Ireland is very strong in the area of energy related
EU-funded projects. If it is something you already want to develop, this mechanism can be the ideal vehicle for
moving a project on.”
Michael Walsh, Smart Wires
“Smart Wires’ positive experience with EU funded projects has certainly given our US management the appetite to locate even more high value work in Ireland and Europe.”
Rounding out the discussion, Charlie O’Donoghue from IDA Ireland made the point that solving issues of constraint and capacity impacts the wider business environment.
Charlie O’Donoghue, IDA Ireland
“Understanding the opportunities and possible solutions to alleviating congestion is important for all of us – for example, this will help the IDA when speaking with data centre owners looking to locate to Ireland.”
Smart Wires greatly appreciates the time these industry leaders gave, and the opportunity to discuss such important issues.
Sterlite Power strikes technology agreement with Smart Wires:
Bring SmartValve to Indian utilities
January 23, 2020
Sterlite Power strikes technology agreement with U.S. based Smart Wires to bring SmartValveTM to Indian utilities
- Sterlite Power to offer Indian utilities modular power flow control solutions that make transmission grid efficient & flexible
- Exclusive arrangement between Sterlite Power and Smart Wires to market the technology in India
New Delhi, Jan 2020:
Sterlite Power has inked an exclusive agreement with U.S. based Smart Wires to introduce a revolutionary technology to the Indian electric markets that will enable resourceful grid management. This cutting-edge technology is an intelligent ‘valve’, that will allow utilities to optimally utilise existing transmission capacity and enhance grid flexibility.
Speaking on the Technology Agreement, Pratik Agarwal, Group CEO, Sterlite Power Transmission Ltd. said “ Lack of land to build new lines, integration of renewable energy, rising Grid outages due to climate change, will be some of the biggest problems that power sector will face in the future. The only way to transcend these challenges is through the use of disruptive technology that can help capture more value from existing grid.”
Power networks in India have been facing major transmission congestion challenges due to urbanisation and exponential growth in demand for power. Congestion is often seen in sub-transmission lines, where it is a challenge to connect renewable power. In this context, alleviating congestion and enhancing grid flexibility becomes critical.
Manish Agarwal, CEO, Solutions, Sterlite Power, said, “We are passionate proponents of disruptive technologies that can help our customers meet their energy delivery needs and address the coinciding challenges of time, space and capital. This technology will enable better power flow, grid stability and enhanced power transfer capacity in existing infrastructure, without the need for investment in new lines.”
Smart Wires CEO, Gregg Rotenberg, said, “Given the pace and scale of renewable energy growth in India, our solutions can provide immense value to the market. We are thrilled to work with Sterlite because we knew we needed a collaborator who understood the nuances of this market and who could match our passion to transform how electric grids are planned and operated.”
Smart Wires a world leader in modular power flow control, has successfully deployed this state-of-the-art technology globally, across the U.S., Europe and Australia. SmartValve increases power transfer capability by making better use of an existing network. As generation and demand changes, circuits can become unequally loaded. Some lines reach their maximum capacity while others are well below their limits. SmartValve technology can unlock this system capacity by more evenly balancing power flows and therefore provides a quicker-to-install and lower-impact alternative to building new lines. Smart Wires technology is quick to install and easy to scale or redeploy, providing valuable flexibility given today’s rapidly changing electric system. Based in California, with offices in Ireland and Australia and a global workforce, Smart Wires works with utilities around the world to address the unique challenges they face.
About Sterlite Power
Sterlite Power is a leading global developer of power transmission infrastructure with projects of over 13,315 circuit kms and 23,885 MVA in India and Brazil. With an industry-leading portfolio of power conductors, EHV cables and OPGW, Sterlite Power also offers solutions for upgrading, uprating and strengthening existing networks. The Company has set new benchmarks in the industry by use of cutting-edge technologies and innovative financing. Sterlite Power is also the sponsor of IndiGrid, India’s first power sector Infrastructure Investment Trust (“InvIT”), listed on the BSE and NSE.
This article accurately describes Smart Wires mission and purpose along with sharing some great news regarding growth equity financing. This funding will be used to provide growth capital as Smart Wires serves a rapidly expanding customer base – including multiple framework agreements and installations planned on four continents in 2020.
Loadshare project wins IET innovation awards
December 4, 2019
LoadShare, a joint project between Smart Wires and UK Power Networks, has won the Power and Energy category, and received Highly Commended in the Sustainability and Environmental Impact category, at the prestigious Institution of Energy and Technology (IET) Awards in London.
The IET Innovation Awards recognize and celebrate the very best new innovations across science, engineering and technology, from around the world.
LoadShare uses Smart Wires’ state-of-the-art technology to increase the utilization of UK Power Networks’ existing lines –resolving a pinch point near the Essex/Suffolk border, and allowing more electricity generated from renewable sources to feed into the system –without building costly and disruptive new electrical cabling and substations.
This project has freed up 95MW of additional network capacity –enough to power 45,000 homes with renewable energy–and has saved UK Power Networks’ customers £8 million compared with traditional means of network upgrades.
SmartWires’ European Managing Director, Michael Walsh said: “Smart Wires is incredibly proud to have received recognition with UK Power Networks for this impactful project.”
“UK Power Networks was incredibly impressive to work with, and by pursuing projects like this, the company shows its commitment to its customers, the energy transition, and a greener, better future,” said Mr. Walsh.
“Smart Wires’ power flow technology is a game-changer in the energy industry and is changing the way grid operators across the world think about integrating renewables.
Managing Director - Europe
Speaking about the importance of the LoadShare project to UK Power Networks and its future vision, the company’s Director of Asset Management, Barry Hatton said: “UK Power Networks’ vision for the future grid is to be a facilitator. We want to make sure that anyone who wants to connect low carbon technologies can do so.”
“UK Power Networks will achieve its vision through good people, good processes, good technology, and working with innovators to ensure any opportunity out there to make this happen is realized,” he said.
Mr. Walsh added: “Smart Wires’ power flow technology is a game-changer in the energy industry and is changing the way grid operators across the world think about integrating renewables. By enabling utilities to control where power flows on their networks, they can now integrate new generation more efficiently and at a lower cost and impact to consumers.The work UK Power Networks has done with LoadShare is a perfect example of the impact this technology can have.”
National Grid Electricity Transmission signs strategic deal with Smart Wires:
Power flow control technology to enable greater volumes of renewable power
November 26, 2019
National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) has awarded a five-year framework agreement to power flow control technology company, Smart Wires. This will help decarbonize the UK electricity grid by enabling greater volumes of renewable power to be efficiently transferred to customers. NGET will use modular power flow control technology to increase power transfer capability by making better use of its existing network.
As the generation and demand connected to the network changes, network power flows change and circuits can become unequally loaded. Some circuits reach their maximum capacity while others are well below their limits. Installing power flow controllers allows NGET to provide the Electricity System Operator with the tools to quickly reduce the congestion that limits renewable generation, with minimal impact on communities and the environment.
NGET will proceed with five installations in 2020. These projects are anticipated to increase boundary capabilities by 1.5 gigawatts in total across three boundaries.
Smart Wires power flow control devices allow utilities to increase the efficiency and resilience of today’s infrastructure. The technology’s modular nature means it’s quick to install and easy to move, thereby providing valuable flexibility. NGET can adjust the roll-out of the technology in response to network needs as they develop.
On visiting Smart Wires Global Research and Development Center in Silicon Valley, California, David Wright, Director of Electricity Transmission and Chief Electricity Engineer at National Grid, said, “NGET is pleased to sign this agreement with Smart Wires. This is an example of our commitment to deliver clean and affordable energy for our customers.
We have already completed several innovation projects with Smart Wires and have been impressed with their technology and professionalism.
I can see a world very soon where power grids everywhere become more intelligent, digital and controllable. NGET will be a leader in this transition and it’s inevitable that technology like Smart Wires will be a big part of this future.”
In response, Gregg Rotenberg, CEO of Smart Wires said, “NGET is demonstrating true global leadership and a genuine commitment to fighting climate change.
By making full use of their existing infrastructure, NGET is embracing the transformational changes that are required to achieve wide-scale decarbonization.”
A total of five projects will be installed in 2020. These projects will contain a total of 375 MVAr of power flow control capability. These projects are anticipated to increase boundary capabilities by 1.5 gigawatts in total across three boundaries. NGET see numerous other opportunities across their network to leverage this type of technology over the course of the framework agreement timeframe.
Smart Wires technology can unlock more system capacity at a lower cost than legacy solutions. Additionally, once installed, legacy solutions cannot be moved or modified quick enough to match the pace of change affecting today’s network. They therefore sometimes can be overrated, compared to the initial requirement, or replaced if the network changes further.
Smart Wires’ modular design makes it quick to deliver and easy to scale or move. The ability to finalize projects 12 months prior to delivery provides unprecedented flexibility and means investments can be scaled up or down in response to changing system needs. This technology provides several additional advantages compared with legacy solutions including reduced substation footprint and digital control.
About National Grid
National Grid own and operate the electricity transmission network in England and Wales, with day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand. National Grid also operate, but do not own, the Scottish networks. The network comprises approximately 7,200 kilometers (4,474 miles) of overhead line, 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) of underground cable and 342 substations.
National Grid own and operate the gas National Transmission System in Great Britain, with day-to-day responsibility for balancing supply and demand. The network comprises approximately 7,660 kilometers (4,760 miles) of high-pressure pipe and 618 above-ground installations.
As Great Britain’s System Operator (SO) National Grid make sure gas and electricity is transported safely and efficiently from where it is produced to where it is consumed. From April 2019, Electricity System Operator (ESO) is a new standalone business within National Grid, legally separate from all other parts of the National Grid Group. This will provide the right environment to deliver a balanced and impartial ESO that can realize real benefits for consumers as we transition to a more decentralized, decarbonized electricity system.
About Smart Wires
Smart Wires is the world’s leader in modular power flow control. Smart Wires technology enables utilities to unlock the large amounts of spare capacity that exists on their systems today. This means they can reduce congestion to save customers money and more quickly connect new renewables and demand. Increasing the use of the existing grid is more cost-effective and less disruptive to communities and the environment than traditional solutions. Smart Wires technology is quick to install and easy to scale or redeploy, providing valuable flexibility given today’s rapidly changing electric system.
Based in California, with offices in Ireland and Australia, Smart Wires partners with utilities around the globe to address the unique challenges they face.