ESB secures €1.1m access to Irish smart grid wireless spectrum

6 Nov 2019338 Views

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ESB is set to lead Ireland’s development of a wireless smart grid infrastructure after being given the green light by ComReg.

ESB Networks has been named the winning bidder for access to two lots of the 400MHz spectrum reserved for the country’s roll-out of smart grid infrastructure. The transmission of signals on this spectrum will play a key role in the national grid’s ability to be able to shift electricity to where it is needed most.

A fully developed smart grid could recognise when demand is highest on the grid and adjust accordingly or use more renewable electricity when greater amounts are generated.

Also, under the Climate Action Plan revealed by the Government earlier this year, a new micro-generation scheme for homeowners will be introduced that would allow them to sell renewable electricity generated on their property back into the national grid.

‘Advanced telecommunications networks and smart grid technologies will help facilitate the increase in demand for clean electricity’
– PAT ECCLES

ESB Networks will pay €1.1m for the access across the 15-year duration of the licences. The energy infrastructure provider also noted some other uses for the spectrum, including faster fault detection to reduce the number and duration of outages.

“Advanced telecommunications networks and smart grid technologies will help facilitate the increase in demand for clean electricity, enabling ESB Networks to manage and optimise energy use on the grid,” said Pat Eccles, information systems and telecoms senior manager at ESB Networks.

“ESB Networks welcomes ComReg’s decision to reserve radio spectrum for [the] smart grid. It provides for development of the smart technologies that will underpin a more secure, more reliable and more sustainable electricity network for each of the 2.3m customers we serve.”

In July, ESB Networks announced it was to start the roll-out of smart meters in September with 20,000 to be installed across the midlands and Cork. Siliconrepublic.com has reached out to ESB Networks to see how this has progressed and will update accordingly.

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com