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Launch of Smart Substations Project, a world first in the field of smart grids

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Alstom, RTE and their partners announced the launch of the Smart Substations Project (Poste Eléctriques Intelligents), during the Smart Grids Paris exhibition, held 4th-6th June in Paris, France. The announcement was made in the presence of Delphine Batho, the French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development & Energy. The Smart Substations Project is a world premiere, a precursor to the smart grids of the future and an important step on the road to the energy transition. 

The project will optimise the capabilities of the electrical substation the cornerstone of the electrical grid - based on digital and optical technology, to support the mass expansion of renewable energies. On-board smart technologies built into the substation infrastructure will provide the interactivity needed to compensate for the intermittent nature of renewable generation. 

The smart electrical substation will be equipped with a weather station and adapt automatically to the climate conditions. In the event of a line fault, it will analyse the situation and restore power quickly and independently when all lights are green, a capability known as "self-healing". The substation will also feature upgraded safety and cyber-security technologies. 

The trial will be run at two substations located in the Somme, which has more wind farms than any other part of France, and will involve installing pioneering digital control-and-command solutions to provide advanced functionality. The project is scheduled to last four years: initial on-site testing will begin in the autumn of 2015, with real-live operation within the main power system by the end of 2015. The technology will be rolled out across France in stages from 2020. 

The project is coordinated by RTE, with partners Alstom Grid, Schneider Electric, Alcatel-Lucent, ERDF and Neelogy. The overall budget for the project is 32 million, with some 9.7 million of the necessary funding provided by the ADEME under its Future Investment Programme (Programme dInvestissements dAvenir). 

The Smart Substations Project has been made possible through strong cooperation between the public and private sectors, major companies and small businesses. It will spearhead the development of French and European expertise and excellence in the international grids market, while providing valuable support for the energy transition. 

About Alstom

Alstom is a global leader in the world of power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure and sets the benchmark for innovative and environmentally friendly technologies. Alstom builds the fastest train and the highest capacity automated metro in the world, provides turnkey integrated power plant solutions and associated services for a wide variety of energy sources, including hydro, nuclear, gas, coal and wind, and it offers a wide range of solutions for power transmission, with a focus on smart grids. The Group employs 93,000 people in around 100 countries. It had sales of over 20 billion and booked close to 24 billion in orders in 2012/13. 

Alstom Grid has over 130 years of expertise in electrical grids. Whether for utilities or electro-intensive industries or facilitating the trading of energy, Alstom Grid brings power to its customers projects.  Alstom Grid ranks among the top 3 in the electrical transmission sector with an annual sales turnover of more than 4 billion. It has 19,000 employees and around 90 manufacturing and engineering sites worldwide. At the heart of the development of the Smart Grid, Alstom Grid offers products, services and integrated energy management solutions across the full energy value chainfrom power generation, through transmission and distribution grids and to the large end user. 


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