Iberdrola hires Woza to protect its power lines against climate change | atalaiar

Iberdrola has entered into an alliance with Woza Labs, based in Bilbao (Biscay), to protect its power lines against climate change. The startup will use its experience to develop digital solutions, such as geographic information systems and satellite image analysis, which will allow Iberdrola’s network business to predict, plan and quantify climate risks that could cause damage to network assets.
Woza Labs is the winner of the challenge launched in October by Iberdrola as part of its PERSEO startups program. The Basque company will design a program to determine how climate change and its derivatives – violent winds, torrential rain, filomenes – can affect Iberdrola’s networks. This will allow the company chaired by Ignacio Galán to prioritize investments or network reforms to mitigate these risks. The objective is to extend this type of solution to the regions where the group is present.

Distribution lines are one of the pillars of the world’s electricity system, even more so with the integration of renewable production, the search for energy efficiency and the improvement of the quality of supply. Iberdrola, which has 1.1 million power lines, aims to reduce failures in distribution networks in forest environments, mainly caused by falling trees and branches caused by weather phenomena due to climate change.
The distribution network, due to its extension and new environmental threats, requires investments to improve its resilience, in order to be prepared to face these threats. Network activity is crucial for Iberdrola, which announced during its Capital Markets & ESG day on November 9 that it will allocate 57% of the 47 billion euros of total investments planned between 2023 and 2025 to this area, or around 27 billion euros euros.

Improving distribution lines is the way to transform the traditional way of delivering unidirectional electricity – from transmission networks to points of consumption – into an intelligent and interactive platform. Thus, this infrastructure will be able to integrate more renewable production and offer greater capacity for new associated innovations, such as electric vehicles, self-consumption and electrification of heat, among others.
The challenge was launched within the framework of BiOK!, the meeting space proposed by BEAZ (an entity of the Department of Economic Promotion of the Provincial Council of Biscay) for the generation of new business opportunities, in collaboration with the new center for innovation in smart grids by Iberdrola, the Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub.

Iberdrola owns electricity transmission and distribution lines in the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Spain. This network comprises more than 4,400 high and medium voltage substations and more than 1.5 million medium and low voltage distribution transformers, built and operated to provide a reliable and high quality service to a total of 31 million electricity supply points.

The powerhouse of start-ups in the energy sector

This year, Iberdrola celebrates 15 years of innovation in the energy sector through its startup creation program, PERSEO. This has helped the company to launch innovative solutions to promote renewable energy, decarbonization and electrification of the economy, digitization of networks, promotion of efficient storage and environmental protection. The initiative, which currently has eight companies in its portfolio, has created a global ecosystem of startups over the years thanks to an investment of more than 100 million euros.

The program’s ecosystem includes more than 7,500 start-ups, including unicorns – companies valued at more than $1 billion – such as electric vehicle charging solutions maker Wallbox and Stem, which offers smart battery storage.
Pilot projects allow startups to access big data and real energy assets, testing their technologies in a real environment, while offering investments to startups with greater growth potential. These two formulas provide better market knowledge and direct access to key technologies.

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