Alstom has inaugurated a new Smart Grid Centre of Excellence in Montpellier, France, to serve the country’s smart grid sector.

The company said that the new technology center will focus on command control and protection systems for digital control rooms, which are vital for the transition of conventional electrical grids into smart grids.

The introduction of digital systems aids in the seamless integration of distributed and intermittent renewable energies into the grid, and provides improved interconnectivity between electricity networks, allowing each to function at optimal capacity.

Alstom chairman and CEO Patrick Kron said the company has opened a new center in France to develop its competences and to participate in the growing international influence of French innovation.

"In a context of strong global competition, Alstom’s Montpellier site will contribute to the advancement of the French and the European smart grid sector, for both the transmission and distribution of electricity," Kron added.

The Smart Grid Centre of Excellence will house marketing, research and development, and manufacturing teams, as well as sales and service, and a training centre in control room automation for the company’s customers.