Spain, Portugal, Sweden and Poland are developing four big smart grid demonstrators until the end of 2017. The goal is to provide the electrical system with new products and services to enhance the management and operation of distribution networks improving the response to consumer needs (e.g. reduce power supply restoration time, more accurate and immediate information, increase consumer participation in the market, etc…).

The UPGRID project “Real proven solutions to enable active demand and distributed generation flexible integration, through a fully controllable LOW Voltage and medium voltage distribution grid”, was launched at the beginning of 2015 under the HORIZON 2020 programme and is being developed by a Consortium composed of 19 partners from 7 European countries: Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Poland, United Kingdom, France and Norway. It has a budget of 15,7 M€.

The project includes four demonstrators that are being deployed since April 2015. The Spanish demonstrator is being carried out at Bilbao area in the North of Spain involving more than 190.000 consumers. It is mainly focused on LV dispatching, deployment of multiservice and manageable PRIME subnetworks and empowering consumers by providing information. It is being built on Bidelek Sareak (, an initiative promoted by Basque Government through the Basque Energy Agency (EVE) and Iberdrola. The Portuguese demonstrator is being carried out at Parque das Nações in Lisbon (Portugal) involving 13.450 residential consumers. Apart from some subfunctionalities related to LV network management, it approaches active demand topics (i.e. end user engagement through the deployment of AMI and Home Energy Management Systems) and market design (i.e. engagement of stakeholders through a neutral access platform). The Swedish demonstrator is being carried out at the town of Åmål in the South of Sweden involving almost 600 consumers (rural area). It is mainly focused on monitoring and control of LV network and smart metering data utilization, stressing the objective of testing the interoperability of equipment from different manufactures with the LV Network Management System. The Polish demonstrator is being carried out at Gdynia in the North of Poland involving 14.700 consumers. It is focused on increasing the LV and MV network observability, improving the LV network management, enhancing reliability of power supply and management of distributed generation in the LV network.

The project is developing and validating solutions to enable the implementation of advanced functionalities over existing technology, to form a truly integrated intelligent system. With this project, an improvement in the monitoring and controllability of LOW Voltage and medium voltage grids is expected, as a way to anticipate technical challenges associated with the integration of Distributed Energy Resources (DER), as End Users get closer to the energy system (e.g. conscious behavior of efficient electricity use).

The 2nd General Assembly Meeting of the UPGRID project was successfully held in Lisbon (Portugal) last week, hosted by EDP Distribuição, with the objective of discussing the current status of the project and the next steps for the successful implementation of the project goals. During the meeting the accomplishments of the project in 2015 and the planned activities for 2016 were presented in the Consortium.

The UPGRID Consortium is formed by the following partners: Iberdrola Distribución Eléctrica (Project Coordinator), EDP Distribuição, Vattenfall Eldistribution, ENERGA-Operator, Tecnalia, Imperial College, Universidad Pontificia Comillas, INESC Porto, ZIV, WITHUS, NOS, Powel, Schneider Electric, General Electric, ATENDE, Politechnika Gdanska, Instytut Energetyki, ITE and EVE.

The UPGRID started in January 2015 and will be concluded in December 2017. For further information check the website:

Madrid, February 3rd, 2016

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