The R&D project will test the concept of a flexible, low-emission power network in the district as part of a larger initiative to lift Helsinki's environmental profile with a focus on the sustainable and efficient distribution of power. ABB, Helsingin Energia and Nokia Siemens Networks will develop a variety of solutions based on modern communication, information and energy technologies.
These include solutions to ensure that excess power generated from renewable energy sources in the district itself, for instance from solar panels and wind turbines, can be fed into the power grid; to enable electric vehicles to draw electricity from the grid or feed it back; to store energy; to create easy-to-use services and to provide more flexibility and transparency in the distribution grid, helping to lower consumption and emissions.
The Kalasatama district in the heart of Helsinki will provide living space for 18,000 people and 10,000 work places, and incorporate an innovation center to showcase the latest technologies being tested and deployed.
“In terms of scale, this is another big step forward in the development of a smarter and more flexible urban grid that can integrate distributed and renewable energy sources and help people to realize the vision of sustainable urban living,” said Bazmi Husain, head of ABB’s smart grids initiative.
“We have the ambition to develop the new Kalasatama district into a global benchmark for smart cities and we look forward to implementing the best available technology together with our global partners,” said Seppo Ruohonen, CEO of Helsingin Energia.
“The new smart grid technology will enable the introduction of new innovative services to consumers, as has been the case in mobile telephone networks. Active involvement of residents will be enabled by new customer-focused services and real-time energy tariffing,” said Jaakko Aho, head of Energy Solutions, Nokia Siemens Networks.
The consortium partners envision a smart grid based on industry-wide standards supporting a stable, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable power system. It will also accommodate customer demand response management systems that allow local producers and consumers to interact with the network operator and the energy market, to reduce peak loads and increase efficiency.
Helsinki is ABB's latest smart grid project. Earlier this year ABB announced a partnership with T-Systems, a Deutsche Telekom subsidiary, to develop smart grid solutions for example in the southern German city of Friedrichshafen.In late 2009, the company announced a joint research and development project with the Nordic utility Fortum to develop a large-scale smart grid in a new district of the city of Stockholm.