ESB Innovation Research Projects


ESB Ocean Energy Research

ESB is supporting the Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) research centre, which was recently established under Science Foundation Ireland’s Research Centres programme.

MaREI is led by University College Cork (UCC) and encompasses a number of industrial and academic partners. Total investment in this research is expected to exceed €10m.

ESB is working alongside doctoral researchers on the characterisation of Atlantic sites for marine energy projects. This is based on meteorological, geotechnical and environmental data that ESB and partners have collected.

This information will be used to inform future project design activities so that designs can be validated through application of new international standards for marine energy. These new standards are under development through the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee 114, in which Ireland and ESB also play a leading role.

The ESB Westwave project is world leading in its design, knowledge development and knowledge sharing. The achievements  reflect the commitment and ingenuity of the wide range of partners who have contributed to its success. 

For more information on ESB Westwave, click here.

ESB Networks Projects 

ESB Networks is involved in an EU funded collaborative project called evolvDSO.

The project aims to define future roles of Distribution System Operators (DSOs) on the basis of scenarios. This will be driven by different distributed renewable energy sources (DRES) penetration levels, various degrees of technological progress and differing customer acceptance patterns.

evolvDSO will address the main research and technology gaps that need to be solved for DSOs to efficiently fulfil their emerging and future roles in the European electricity system.

By being involved in one of the leading EU FP7 projects which focuses on the evolution of the role of the DSO and on the development of future markets and tools, ESB Networks and Ireland will be at the forefront of Smart Grid technologies and play an active part in shaping future European policy on Smart Grids.

The project comprises 16 international partners including University College Dublin. It commenced in September 2013 and will conclude in December 2016.

ESB Networks is actively participating in an EU funded project called PlanGridEV.

The aim of PlanGridEV is to develop network planning tools and methods for Distributed System Operators (DSOs) for an optimised large-scale roll-out of electric vehicles whilst at the same time maximising distributed energy resources integration. 

A key contribution by ESB Networks is the demonstration trial it will complete on its networks. In this, we will perform a real-life validation of the tools and methods developed in the project. 

It is an EU FP7 collaborative project comprising 12 partners including major European players from the energy and automobile sector (DSOs,OEMs) as well as research institutions and engineering consultancies.

This three year project concludes in February 2016. 

RealValue is the latest EU funded R&D project which ESB Networks is involved in. 

The project is directed at local small-scale energy storage using Smart Electric Thermal Storage (SETS). This involves real-world implementation and testing in 1,250 homes in Germany, Latvia and Ireland. 

ESB Networks is installing advanced metering and next-generation system monitoring solutions to analyse the performance of the systems and any effect on the electricity networks.

The project is directed at improving efficiency and delivering value across the European energy market through the use of advanced information and communications technology.

This Irish led project is funded through the Horizon 2020 funding mechanism. The consortium consists of 12 project partners and encompasses the entire energy supply chain, including many of the major players in the Irish energy sector.

The RealValue project commenced in June 2015 and will conclude in 2018.

In August 2015 ESB Networks began the Winter Peak project.

The project aims to examine load profiles and power quality in secondary substations while making use of new fibre communication links.

The load profiles in the low voltage network could change significantly with new generation and demand technologies coming online.

Technologies such as electric vehicles, heat pumps and solar photovoltaic may present significant challenges to our existing infrastructure, therefore it is important to develop new operational and planning principles to ensure these technologies can be successfully integrated into the network. 

ESB Networks are partnering with Intel, Siemens and Trinity College Dublin on this innovative project.

ESB Networks has collaborated with the US-based Electricity Power Research Institute (EPRI) to develop practical solutions to facilitate increased renewable penetration on the Irish grid and develop a smart network.

A number of smart grid demonstration projects focusing on reducing the carbon footprint of the electricity distribution system, enabling dynamic control of wind-farms and self-healing networks have already provided positive results.

ESB Networks, in partnership with Intune Networks and TSSG (WIT), have secured €3.3m in EU funding under the FINESCE smart energy project to explore how future internet technologies can be applied to advance smart energy systems.

FINESCE will organise and run user trials in seven different countries including Ireland. Building on the work carried out in the FINSENY project, the Irish trials will focus on demand side management of charging events of electric vehicles as well as inter-substation communications based on the ‘Future Internet’ technologies.

The consortium ​comprises 19 partners from 11 counties around Europe and includes participants from the energy, ICT, telecoms and academic sectors.