The Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC), which consists of Japanese major electric utilities, visited Iberdrola Distribución headquarters in Bilbao on the 23rd November 2016. The main topics covered were: advanced voltage control and smart meter data utilization for distribution system management. Both matters are within the UPGRID project demonstrators’ cornerstones. The meeting was focused on exchanging experiences to understand present DSOs endeavours and discussing about future efforts.

In Japan, as the use of renewable energy sources including photovoltaic is increasing, issues of power quality and safety in the distribution network have become apparent. Though Japanese electric utilities have been tackling grid issues caused by the increase of renewable energy sources, these issues are getting more complicated in response to the further expansion of renewable non-manageable energy. For the last few years, there have been issues related to voltage rise and power quality issues which need to be dealt with urgently.

It was explained why the UPGRID project in general and the Spanish demonstrator in particular are needed for Iberdrola Distribución. The common thread was how Iberdrola’s LV systems (e.g. GIS, CIS, AMI and LV NMS) are interconnected nowadays and what is being considered for the near future. It was pointed out that one of the main objectives is to make the most from field data to improve LV distribution network operation and management to provide a better service to consumers. In this regards, the engagement of smart meter data utilisation and the LV Network Management System (LV NMS) implemented in the Spanish demonstrator are relevant pieces. This was seen as an aligned approach to FEPC interests. At the end of the day, Iberdrola’s smart grid labs were visited to provide an insight about the field devices that are being deployed currently.

The meeting was well assessed by the attendees.