ESB Networks launch their Innovation Strategy

Thursday 28 September, 2017 – ESB Networks has today (Thursday) formally launched their Innovation Strategy at today’s Connecting Ireland’s Energy Conference, at the Mansion House.

The strategy sets out how ESB Networks will meet the challenges of the changing energy landscape, deploying new technology, engineering, and innovation tools to facilitate the transition to a low carbon future. ESB Networks has one of the world’s most progressive electricity networks and facilitates changes to how Ireland’s electricity is produced and consumed. ESB Networks has designed eight roadmaps to continue to drive change.

These roadmaps focus on connecting renewables, boosting customer engagement, further developing the electrification of heat and transport, optimising the current network infrastructure, creating flexibility within the network, making the network more resilient, driving operational excellence across the organisation. The innovation strategy includes investment in state-of-the-art control centres in Dublin and Cork; investment in line sensors, fault indicators, augmented reality and 3D laser scanning to help control the network and repair faults remotely.

Speaking at the Innovation Strategy launch, Marguerite Sayers, Managing Director of ESB Networks said:
“For over 90 years, and through rural electrification, ESB has used advanced technology and innovation to provide Irish customers with a world-class electricity service. Today’s Innovation Strategy launch is simply a continuation of that history – ensuring that we continue to innovate to support Ireland’s changing energy needs. 

“With these eight roadmaps, ESB Networks is outlining how we are preparing to deliver an electricity network for the future. How electricity is produced and consumed is fundamentally changing and we need to adapt to those changes.  The challenge for us is to integrate increasing amounts of renewable generation on to the distribution system and also to support the electrification of heat and transport – both of which are fundamental to meeting our national carbon emission target.  However, we need to do so while maintaining our safety standards and delivering value, service and reliability to our customers.  We are undertaking a whole suite of smart network research projects and trials – some on our own and some with technology partners – to see how best we can facilitate all of the new demands on the network at least cost and while also enhancing service levels.” 

Speaking at the Conference, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Sean Kyne, T.D. said:
“The Innovation Strategy that ESB Networks is launching today contains clear benefits for all electricity-users in Ireland, from householders to community organisations to businesses. From the strategy it is evident that ESB Networks is harnessing the opportunities which digital technology provides including innovations such as line sensors, fault indicators and laser scanning. All of these will help ESB Networks provide the secure, safe and reliable electricity network which is powering our society and our economy.”

ENDS/

Link to Innovation Strategy – www.esbnetworks.ie/innovation

Innovation Strategy highlights
As part of the Innovation Strategy, a wide range of technical and pilot projects are being implemented by ESB Networks to reduce Ireland’s carbon footprint and to rewrite the story of energy in Ireland in the long-term:
• ESB Networks has two state-of-the-art control centres in Dublin and Cork which ensure that state of the art technologies monitor our network in real-time to respond to any faults or events.
• ESB Networks is investing in line sensors, fault indicators, augmented reality and 3D laser scanning to help control the network and repair faults remotely.
• ESB Networks is optimising its networks assets to connect to new homes and businesses such as data centres – new connections are predicted to increase by 70% over the next 5 years.
• ESB Networks will also grow the connection of renewables systems like wind and solar, enabling them to play an ever-bigger role in how we generate electricity. ESB Networks is transforming its network to facilitate 300,000 e-cars and 330,000 homes heated by electricity by 2030.

 Innovation Strategy to 2020:
• ESB Networks will oversee €4.8 billion in capital and operational investment
• ESB Networks will invest €291million in new connections, which are set to rise by 70% over next the five years
• ESB Networks will invest €313 million to reinforce increased demand from large customers
• ESB Networks will have converted 50,000 km of overhead wires to 20kV, providing a carbon footprint reduction of 160,000 tonnes of CO₂
• ESB Networks will undertake the transformation to allow for 300,000 e-cars and 330,000 homes to be heated by electricity by 2030

ESB Networks innovation achievements 2011-2015:
• ESB Networks restored power 14.1 million times
• ESB Networks managed 36 storm days
• ESB Networks dispatched 165,953 crews
• ESB Networks managed 2.2 million poles, 646 High Voltage stations and 155,000 km of overhead lines
• ESB Networks connected 50,000 new domestic connections and 20,000 new commercial connections
• ESB Networks resolved 1,480,487 call centre calls, 89.98% of these calls answered within 20 seconds
• ESB Networks facilitated 2,857,376 hits on the Powercheck app/site
• ESB Networks reduced network losses by 75%

About ESB Networks
ESB Networks employs over 3,200 people from specialist network technicians on the front line connecting, maintaining and repairing the electricity system for Ireland’s homes and businesses to engineers, data scientists and IT professionals utilising emerging technologies to create one of the world’s smartest and most resilient energy networks.