NES VP Customer Solutions, Jon Wells, interviewed by OSGP: What will NES bring to EUW 2019?

Oct 01, 2019
1. What do you see as the biggest smart grid industry challenge and how does NES contribute to the solutions?
 
In the last 12 months, since last EUW, we have seen the clear emergence of the Smart Energy Transition on the agenda. This is centred on using technology to address issues such as incorporation of locally generated cleaner energy into the grid, consumer enablement, reduction of transmission losses, automation, demand control and peak management, micro-grid and security.
 
Whilst conceptually simple, the technological and organisational transition is massive. No where more so than in the low-voltage grid; where visibility and manageability have been hardest to achieve, despite this being where the greatest change will be experienced. The key to success is to deploy sophisticated infrastructure which “future-proofs” the low-voltage grid by embedding intelligence which can be leveraged incrementally as the business case for change evolves and becomes self-sustaining.
 
NES smart grid solutions encompass both the metering infrastructure, analytics, operational and security solutions, and consulting and services to deploy sophisticated solutions in readiness for the Smart Energy Transition. 
 
2. Could you provide some background information on the current utility projects NES is involved in and what NES’ contribution is to the projects?
 
NES has undertaken several leading-edge projects this year which have helped several DSOs drive towards the Smart Energy Transition:
- Danish utility Ravdex, have used a multi-communications paths, enabled by the NES meter, to provide low-latency transmission of power quality information from the meter to an analytics back-end
- Linz Strom, are developing leading security solutions to ensure that their smart grid in Austria remains protected from cyber attack as its sophistication, and thus attractiveness as a target, increases
- OSHEE, Albanian DSO, are deploying NES analytics and operational software solutions to provide increased visibility of “black-box” low-voltage grid, to maintain high visibility of the meters and keep the infrastructure operating efficiently
- In Poland, Tauron are continuing to deploy NES meters, bringing the total number of meters under operational management by NES software up to over 1M.
 
This is in addition to our on-going European projects with major DSOs such as EON (Sweden), Vattenfall (Sweden), Caruna (Finland), Konstant (Denmark) and Cerius (Denmark), numerous DSOs in Switzerland, France, Germany, Poland, Romania and Ukraine.
 
3. What is your view related to the Open Smart Grid Protocol (OSGP) to promote and advance the capabilities of innovative solutions for utilities?
 
As well as providing a foundation for highly reliable and secure communications, the OSGP Alliance also offers NES access to a valued ecosystem of complementary and compatible product vendors. Many of NES products require that compatibility, especially when our customers require integration to back-end systems (many of which are OSGP members) and require a multi-vendor smart meter infrastructure supply.
 
In fact, the OSGP is offering many exciting opportunities for NES software solutions – our operations and security solutions are compatible with any 3rd party OSGP compliant meter – taking inter-operability beyond the meter and straight standards compliance.
 
4. What will NES be showcasing at the EUW2019 - OSGP Alliance Pavilion and how does this contribute to the Energy transition?
 
NES has been consolidating the functionality of its smart meter foundation, proving new communications approaches, developing solutions for demand control and peak management and implementing new security capabilities to maintain NES as the leading security provider for smart meters.
 
NES is now bringing exciting new software solutions to market and refreshing tried and tested capabilities in readiness for the Smart Energy Transition:
- Operations – with over 1M OSGP meters under operations management, NES’s release of Grid Operations reinforces our focus on helping our customers make the most of their investment and harnessing the flexibility of the smart meters through one-screen operations views
- Visibility and Analytics – NES Grid AI solution provides new levels of visibility in the low-voltage grid, allowing points of imbalance, over-utilisation and spare capacity to be quickly identified, in readiness for the Smart Energy Transition
- Security – NES Grid Watch provides DSOs with intrusion detection and response capabilities which go way beyond the traditional perimeter protection solutions offered by other meter vendors and standards
 
5. Who should be visiting the stand and why?
 
Members of any DSO with a focus on smart grid and low-voltage grid should be interested in what NES has to offer. This year, the focus is on the Smart Energy Transition, and any DSO looking at their readiness for this transition should review how NES solutions can help them achieve this. The objective is not to achieve the transition in one “big bang”, but, instead, deploy sophisticated technology solutions which will allow a gradual transition where each step is based on a robust business case and outcome. This is the way that the Smart Energy Transition will be executed, and NES provides just the right solutions to enable this transition.