First orders in promising growth market for innovative smart grids
Gouda – Imtech N.V. (technical services provider in Europe) announces its involvement in a large number of initiatives to realise innovative smart grids. Smart grids are intelligent energy networks which will be a prerequisite in the decades ahead for the implementation of far-reaching energy supply changes. The first orders worth several million euro have already been booked. Alongside the involvement of a large number of Imtech companies, Imtech has also bundled its knowledge and expertise in this field in the Taskforce Smart Grids, building a clear foundation for its growth ambitions in this rapidly growing segment of the energy market.
René van der Bruggen, CEO Imtech: ‘Over time decentralised and local generation of energy in Europe is giving rise to multi-energy distribution, where power is being generated and purchased at a multitude of locations simultaneously. It is also expected that electric transport will be introduced on a large scale in Europe. All electric vehicles will need to be recharged, for which a wide diversity of recharging technology is available. These developments increase the complexity of the energy infrastructure and networks significantly. If energy distribution is to function without problems in the future, then substantial changes are needed to this infrastructure. Smart grids are the solution for this. Their market is reaching maturity slowly but surely. From a strategic position, Imtech wants to assume a leading position in this area.’
Over the short to medium term, there will be a considerable increase in localised power generation from sustainable energy sources such as waste, biomass, wind, solar and water. Individual homes, residential neighbourhoods, companies and/or business estates are increasingly generating their own electricity, while also consuming electricity, heat and gas. This produces two-way or multi-way energy distribution traffic between homes and/or companies and energy utilities. Large and small-scale wind farms, waste-to-energy plants, biomass and biogas plants and co-generation (combined heat and power) plants will also need to be integrated without problems into these energy networks. The consequence is a growing need for multi-energy distribution.
Charging electric vehicles
Electric transport is going to grow rapidly in the years ahead. The arrival of electric car travel does after all offer an economical and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels such as diesel, petrol and gas. Electric vehicles have no emissions in the form of exhausts, fine particles and greenhouse gases, and thus contribute directly to improvement in the air quality. All these vehicles need to be recharged, for which a wide range of recharging technologies are present to an ever increasing degree, varying from relatively simple recharging systems for use at home to collective neighbourhood or company recharging systems and complex rapid multi-user systems for large-scale use. Added to this, collective and multi-user recharging systems can serve as buffer capacity should there be an energy generation surplus. This technology thus forms a vital link in creating a balance between generating and consuming energy.
Smart grids: intelligent energy networks for the future
Multi-energy distribution and electric transport increase the complexity of the energy infrastructure and networks considerably. This is an irreversible tendency. If energy distribution also wants to function without problems in the future, substantial changes are needed to the energy infrastructure. Intelligent energy networks in the form of smart grids are the solution for this. The market for smart grids is blossoming slowly but surely. Solid progress has been particularly evident in recent years. Imtech is active over a broad front in this market and is involved in many initiatives as either an advisor or technology partner. The first concrete orders have also recently been booked.
Smart Energy Collective
Imtech is technology partner in the Smart Energy Collective, the largest operative smart grid initiative in the Netherlands, where special technology solutions and smart services are being developed in several pilot projects for approximately 5,000 residential and business connections.
Smart grids in Groningen
Imtech is involved as a technology partner in creating a smart grid in Groningen in the Netherlands. In this pilot project, conducted in part at the initiative of the European Union, homes are being linked and they are sharing the energy generated by micro HRe boilers (combined heat and power boilers) and hybrid water pumps. The homes function as a collective power plant, which is also connected to a nearby wind farm. Imtech is also a technology partner of Energy Valley in Groningen. This is an energy initiative centred on FC Groningen’s Euroborg football stadium, where smart grids will be introduced in due time.
Partnership with Epyon
Imtech has signed a partnership agreement with Epyon, a global producer of intelligent rapid chargers enabling electric transport both in and outside Europe. Imtech is responsible for the system integration of this web-based rapid charging system within the public electricity grid. The first pilot projects have been announced in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and the UK, among other countries.
Park & Recharge and local smart grids for recharging electric cars in multi-storey car parks
Imtech (the WPS business unit of Imtech Traffic & Infra) has developed Park & Recharge® for recharging electric cars in multi-storey car parks. This globally available Imtech technology consists of special charge stations. This innovative solution has been integrated by other Imtech companies into a local smart grid, where the charge stations distribute the energy demand in a multi-storey car park consistently based on the available capacity. This prevents overloading. An initial order has been placed by Q-Park in collaboration with the Zaanstad municipality. Initially a local smart grid will be set up consisting of 18 high-tech Park & Recharge Stations in a multi-storey car park in Zaandam, with the capacity being gradually expanded to 60 charging stations.
ICT: secure communications for smart grids
ICT (information and communication technology) makes secure energy infrastructures possible. Again, the market is slowly but surely moving. Commissioned by the Dutch regional administrator Stedin, Imtech provides the solutions for a communication network to support business and process monitoring of power stations.
European Cisco smart grids demo centre
Imtech is a partner of the information technology and telecom network specialist Cisco. In Amsterdam Cisco is realising its first European Demo Centre for smart grid automation and smart homes. Imtech is Cisco’s strategic partner for smart grids and is supporting this centre.
Smart metering: smart energy meters
Imtech is a technology partner for various network companies in the roll-out of smart metering. These are smart (digital) energy meters, which send consumers’ usage figures back to the network companies at regular intervals. This enables users to gain an up-to-date insight into their energy consumption and to monitor energy-saving plans. This technology also enables network companies to conduct their billing automatically. The expectation is that over time smart metering and smart grids will be fully integrated with each other.
Smart Waterfront in Stockholm
The Waterfront project is being realised in Stockholm. This is a pilot project where the energy management of a variety of buildings is mutually integrated by smart grids, distributing the peaks and dips of energy consumption. The objective is to attain optimum energy economies. Imtech is also involved in this development.
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