The NEDO project entered the final phase with the inclusion of battery storage in Idrija and Ljubljana
Ljubljana, 4th of November 2021 – Today, ELES and its partners marked an important milestone in the second phase of the NEDO smart grids and smart communities project at a gala event that took place remotely between Ljubljana and Tokyo. The event was attended by the Minister of Economic Development and Technology Zdravko Počivalšek, State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure Aleš Mihelič, Ambassador of Japan to Slovenia His Excellency Hiromichi Matsushima, President of the Japanese NEDO Agency Hiroaki Ishizuka, and Hitachi Vice President Katsuya Nagano.
While the first phase of the NEDO project focused on smart grids on the infrastructure of ELES and the distribution companies Elektro Celje and Elektro Maribor, the second phase focuses on smart cities and smart communities. The development of advanced solutions during this phase of the project focuses on energy efficiency in urban communities and the use of battery storage. This time, the activities cooperated with the companies Elektro Ljubljana and Elektro Primorska, as the battery storage was installed in Ljubljana and Idrija. The battery storage in Ljubljana (BTC) was installed by Riko, and the battery storage in Idrija by the company Kolektor Sisteh. ELES will use them for system services, while in the event of an emergency, they will also provide power to critical users. ELES also wants to use the storage in Ljubljana to establish a complex solution for troubleshooting voltage drops of the industrial customer Aquafil, which supports the introduction of advanced solutions.
The project's transition to the final demonstration phase was marked by ELES and representatives from all involved companies, state institutions, and organizations at a ceremonial event in BTC City Centre in Ljubljana, at the location where one of the two battery storages is located.
In their keynote speeches, the Japanese partners emphasized that the NEDO project is a case of exemplary cooperation between Japan and Slovenia in advanced economic development and green transformation. In his address, the CEO of ELES mag. Aleksander Mervar emphasized that the successfully implemented NEDO project is an excellent basis for the continued cooperation with Japan in energy. “In recent years, excellent cooperation between teams of young experts from both sides has been established. We knew how to find a way to bridge the differences in entrepreneurial culture and customs, and especially the differences in size. We are successfully cooperating with Hitachi, which is the second-largest Japanese company. The fact that there are very few operators in Europe who would work so actively in the field of smart grids is also important for further cooperation,” added mag. Mervar. He also said he hopes for further cooperation and new projects with Japanese partners, given the environmental and energy challenges ahead. “We are already preparing proposals, and we hope that they will be interesting for both the Japanese companies and the NEDO agency, with which we want to cooperate in the future as well, just like we did before. Over the past five years, we have become closer to NEDO and created references and results that few people in Europe have. The NEDO project received the prestigious first prize from the ISGAN association, while the second prize was given to the FutureFlow project. We recently applied for the GreenSwitch project, and we were again informed, as we have been for the SINCRO.GRID project that we have once again prepared the best-rated project in our industry” concluded mag. Aleksander Mervar, the CEO of ELES, which is recognized among Slovenian companies as a superpower of smart grids and also boasts the highest amount of grants and other funds obtained.
Mag. Gregor Omahen, Head of commercial projects department at ELES and NEDO project manager, together with Mr. Akito Fukusawa, presented in technical detail the final second phase, the background of the project, and the challenges that accompanied this demanding and innovative path.
At the location where the Ljubljana battery storage is installed, ELES has also set up a demonstration junction for Wattori smart grids, which will be used to present the results of the international NEDO project and other achievements of ELES in the field of smart grids.
Additional information about the NEDO project
ELES decided to join the NEDO project at the end of 2015 and ensured the implementation of the project. The implementation of the demonstration project of smart grids and smart communities (NEDO project) means an upgrade to the cooperation between Slovenian and Japanese companies and cooperation between the Public Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investment and Technology (SPIRIT Slovenia), Organization for Development of New Forms of Energy and Industrial Technology Japan (NEDO) and the Transmission System Operator (ELES), which is also the project coordinator.
Many Slovenian stakeholders are also involved in the project (AquafilSLO, BTC, Elektro Celje, Elektro Ljubljana, Elektro Maribor, Elektro Primorska, Municipality of Idrija, Altens, Milan Vidmar Electric Power Research Institute, Elpros, Faculty of Electrical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Maribor, GDB, Iskratel, Kolektor Igin, Kolektor Sisteh, Korona, LEA Spodnje Podravje, Sipronika, Solvera Lynx, Stelkom and TECES). ELES will better use the existing network with integrated and centrally managed cloud solutions introduced within the NEDO project. At the same time, the customers will get a higher quality of electricity supply and the opportunity to operate in the electricity and ancillary services markets actively. The value of the project is EUR 37 million, of which the value of ELES' activities amounts to EUR 17 million.