“Puglia Active Network” (PAN) is a project run by e-distribuzione, supported by the European Community and the Italian Ministry of the Environment, the aim of which is to create a smart energy grid and innovative management system for distributing electricity throughout the south of Italy.
The plan, co-funded to the tune of €85 million as part of EU instrument NER 300, is intended to promote energy efficiency and the use and development of renewables and electrically powered vehicles.
The project aims to provide citizens with new services by developing a regional network of recharging facilities for electric vehicles, and by distributing 30,000 Smart Info devices free of charge to low-voltage consumers in the towns of the Itria Valley and the Salento area. These will make users more aware of their energy consumption and facilitate energy monitoring and management.
Within the scope of the project, interventions by e-distribuzione – started in 2014 and expected to be concluded in 2018 at a total cost of €170 million – will improve over 80 percent of medium-voltage lines and more than 8,000 transformer stations (both primary and secondary) in areas of low and medium population density in Puglia, where there has been a strong penetration of renewables.
Thanks to the work on transformer stations, it will also be possible to integrate into the distribution system a modern, constantly-active wireless communication network, connecting the medium-voltage network to a central control system. As a result, the system will be able to carry not only electricity but also information and data on changes in consumption in real time.
These innovations will have an important impact on the environment, limiting the need to build new substations or powerlines and resulting in lower CO2 emissions.
As a result, Puglia is the first region in the world to be testing a smart and innovative electrical system developed on a large scale.
Puglia is the ideal setting for the PAN project, developing a new energy distribution template following the smart grid model. With a capacity of 5,000 MW of renewable energy already installed, Puglia is the Italian region with the largest production of green energy, able to meet the annual energy requirements of 3.4 million families. This enviable situation is explained by the presence throughout the region of both small and large-scale energy producers with zero emissions.
The new smart community in Puglia is experiencing the great opportnities provided by the change in energy management. Puglia leads the way for Italy and the world.