"The path towards grid automation has become a primary objective", Jose María Torres

The director of Ormazabal’s Smart Grids division inaugurated the Eurodoble 2023 event, which served as a meeting place for best practices in grid asset management

On 25, 26 and 27 October, Madrid became the capital of electricity grids on the occasion of the EuroDoble 2023 congress. This forum, which brought together more than 125 of the main players in electricity grid management, served as a meeting place for professionals to have the opportunity to discuss different issues regarding the present and future of the sector. The event addressed issues such as grid asset management, digital substations, cybersecurity, incident diagnosis techniques, monitoring, and switchgear protection and control. This made EuroDoble 2023 a stop to reflect on the journey of the electricity grid towards a sustainable, digital and automated future.

In this regard, EuroDoble 2023 featured the inaugural talk, as well as the presence at the “Electricity Grid and Artificial Intelligence” table of Jose María Torres, director of Ormazabal’s Smart Grids division, who delved into the need to digitise and automate the electricity grid; A path that, in his own words, “has become an essential objective to achieve the decarbonisation objectives established by the European Union”. The director of Ormazabal’s Smart Grids division pointed out, during the inaugural talk, that exogenous and current geopolitical factors “have accelerated the transformation of the electricity industry towards a world with a greater integration of renewable and more sustainable generation”. Jose María Torres stressed that “the European Commission and the Spanish government, through the PNIEC, are aligned in the search for a global change towards sustainability; an objective that we, the companies in the electricity sector, share”.

To meet the objectives of decarbonisation of our economy, Torres identified two main challenges that arise in response to this transformation: the urgent need to automate the electricity grid and the need for flexibility of medium and low voltage distribution networks. “The world is moving towards a more sustainable future, requiring the electricity sector to act quickly and efficiently. This journey requires embracing innovative approaches and technology to optimise operations and ensure reliable power supply, even in the face of global challenges,” he argued.

Artificial intelligence and electricity grids

To round off the first day of the event, EuroDoble 2023 prepared a panel discussion on the role that artificial intelligence, ubiquitous today, can play in the management of electricity grids. Jose María Torres was one of the Smart Grids experts who presented their knowledge and ideas on the combination of these two worlds and their evolution. In this sense, Torres wanted to emphasise that “although there are already initiatives such as the development of digital twins and state estimators that make incipient use of this technology, artificial intelligence is an ally that will allow the development of algorithms that will help to manage the electricity grid in a more flexible and efficient way”.

On the other hand, and in terms of the challenges that artificial intelligence must face in its application to the electricity system in the areas of asset management and security, Jose María Torres emphasised the need for mechanisms to guarantee the confidentiality of the data obtained from the grid, as well as generating technological alliances, stating that “without a doubt, alliances are absolutely essential”, adding that “the path to follow requires an understanding of our needs as a sector and a strategic approach to harnessing the potential of AI in the electricity grid”

Jose María Torres, participating at the panel discisscusion on “How will the AI inpact the Powe System and the way we work”, among other important industry players such as Efacec, National Grid, Statnett and Doble.