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Slovenia’s Eles Among the Best in the World Taking First and Second Place

The NEDO and FutureFlow projects were awarded best smart grid projects in the world by the ISGAN

On Tuesday, the 28th of July 2020, the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN) announced the recipients of the Award of Excellence in the field of innovation, integration and smart grid system transformations. The topic for this year was digitalisation on a global level, which enables the empowerment of the consumer (“Digitalization Enabling Consumer Empowerment”).  

Among the nominations from all around the world, the project for demonstrating smart grids and smart communities (the NEDO project) was the winning project for 2020, while the FutureFlow project was the runner up for the second best global project. In the name of the NEDO project consortium, which consists of the Japanese agency NEDO, Hitachi and ELES, the award was received by the Japanese agency NEDO, while in the name of the FutureFlow project consortium, the award was received by ELES. For the very first time in the history of these awards, one company received two awards.

ELES decided at the end of 2015 to be a part of the NEDO project, when the Japanese partners, due to the unresponsiveness of the Slovenian side almost gave up on the idea of executing NEDO in Slovenia. Consequently, the project takes place in several locations across Slovenia, while numerous stakeholders are now a part of it (companies for electricity transport and distribution, solution providers, research institutions and consumers). With integrated and centrally managed cloud based solutions, which we are introducing within the NEDO project, we will make better use of the existing network, while costumers will receive a higher quality supply of electricity and the possibility of active participation on electricity markets and systemic services.

The FutureFlow project was conceptualised by experts from ELES. They defined the contents of the project, with which they addressed the most current problems when it comes to market integration and operating the system and pointed this research project into finding solutions for network codes. Behind the project, ELES put together a consortium of international partners and submitted an application for co-financing the project within the framework of the programme Horizon 2020. The application was successful and the FutureFlow project became the largest research project, which was financed by the programme Horizon 2020 and was led by a Slovenian company. The project under ELES’ leadership was concluded in December 2019 and what differentiates it from other similar European project is that, along with others partners, we managed to include into this project companies and small units for electricity generation from RES and with pilot tests proved in real time that these companies can be a reliable source of flexibility, which could help system operates maintain balance in the electricity system and by doing so provide reliable electricity.

The CEO of ELES, mag. Aleksander Mervar, stated after the announcement of the awards that with these two awards ELES also obtained great international recognition for its activities when it comes to innovation and development of smart networks. He also pointed out that these project could not be carried out without partners in both consortiums. Mag. Mervar dedicates both rewards as a recognition to the work done by all who participated in both projects. 


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