The Agreement worth HRK 150 m was signed by the Minister of environment and energy, Tomislav Čorić, the Director of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, Dubravko Ponoš and the Director of HEP Operator distribucijskog sustava (HEP ODS), Nikola Šulentić.
It has been the maximum amount of grant Hrvatska elektropriveda obtained from EU funds so far. “The pilot project of introducing smart grids is significant for adapting electricity distribution in Croatia to changes resulting from the EU package of measures Clean energy for all Europeans”, said the President of HEP’s Management Board, Frane Barbarić at the signing ceremony. He announced that the existing 2.4 million meters were going to be replaced by smart meters.
The amount of the grant, funded from the European Fund for Regional Development as part of the Operational program “Competitiveness and Cohesion” 2014 – 2022 (OPCC), under the specific objective 4d1 is HRK 149.95 m, which represents around 85 percent of the EU co-financed pilot project amount. HEP ODS will ensure the remaining HRK 26.86 m, i.e. around 15 percent, so that the total value of the pilot project amounts to HRK 176.81 m. Along with that, HEP ODS will independently invest additional HRK 52 m in the introduction of smart grids, so the total value of the investment into smart grids is almost HRK 230 m.
The pilot project of introducing smart grids refers to the computerization of a part of electricity distribution network in Croatia. Advanced measuring infrastructure will be established and it will enable a more precise loss calculation as well as locating areas with increased losses in distribution network, monitoring electricity consumption and active consumption management by end customers. For that purpose 6,125 substations will have summative meters installed, and end customers’ 24,000 existing meters will be replaced by smart meters. Existing 449 transformers will be replaced by new transformers, more energy efficient ones, which will contribute to the reduction of technical losses.
Medium-voltage network will be automated, thus increasing the reliability of supply by reducing the duration of unplanned outages and creating technical preconditions for a wider integration of renewable resources into the electricity distribution network. The pilot system of smart grids will be introduced into five out of the total of 21 HEP ODS distribution areas (Zagreb, Split, Osijek, Zadar and Dubrovnik) in the period between 2018 and 2022.