Residents in Italy's Apulia region are benefiting from more reliable electricity supply and real-time information on their energy use thanks to the Puglia Active Network project co-funded by the European Commission's NER 300 programme.
The Puglia Active Network project aims to boost the electric distribution network in Apulia, a southern region of Italy, with the integration of more than 3 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy into the grid.
Less than one year after its launch, the project has completed its first installation phase, with more than 1,200 primary and secondary substations of the planned 8,000 now in place. These stations use novel methods to reduce the number and duration of power cuts, enable near real-time monitoring of generation and grid conditions, and predict when maintenance should be performed.
The project will also help consumers to better manage their energy use. It will equip 30,000 customers with smart meters, providing users with timely information on their energy consumption, and help put in place more than 250 electric vehicle charging stations in strategic, largely tourist, areas.
Gianluigi Fioriti, CEO of project sponsor Enel Distribuzione, said: “With the completion of the Puglia Active Network project, we are going to build the world's first smart region. The project impacts more than 80 percent of Apulia's medium voltage lines and about 8,000 primary and secondary substations. This €170 million investment in innovative grid management will also have strong positive impacts on the local economy.”
The Puglia Active Network project was awarded co-funding of €85 million under the second call of the European Commission's NER 300 programme in July 2014. The funding comes from revenues from the sale of CO2 emission allowances in the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS).
The NER 300 programme is a key implementing tool of EU climate and energy policy and one of the world's largest funding programmes for innovative low-carbon energy demonstration projects. The total NER 300 funding of €2.1 billion is expected to leverage €2.7 billion in private investments. Altogether, 37 innovative renewable projects and one carbon capture and storage project in 19 EU Member States have been selected to receive funding.
- Publication date
- 25 April 2016
- Directorate-General for Climate Action