The Spanish city of Castellón could become a world leader in smart grid technology thanks to the launch of an innovative smart network project, says Iberdrola.

The Spanish utility has upgraded 26 transformer stations and commissioned 60 new power meters in the Valencian city and says that it will invest EUR22 million in the Castellón smart network project.

It plans to adapt a total of 600 transformer stations as well as replace over 100 000 power meters supplying the city’s 175 000 inhabitants. “This is a cutting edge project in Spain entailing a major technological shift in the power distribution business,” said Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán.

He added: “Castellón is set to become Spain’s – and possibly the world’s – leading city in this field.”

Mass deployment of smart networks across Spain would require an investment of EUR5.5 billion, according to Iberdrola, which chose Castellón as the main site for its Network Remote Management and Automation Systems (STAR) project. It is planning to complete the project in November 2010.

Castellón’s new smart network will support the remote provision of services, such as meter reading, subscriptions and deletions and changes to contracted capacity. It will also enable clients to monitor their usage data in real-time and use flexible rates to improve their energy efficiency.

“Smart networks will encourage the development and implementation of other innovative initiatives, too, such as the electric car,” said Galán. “Iberdrola is working very closely with the Valencia regional government in this area.”