EU is to provide EUR 40 million funding from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) for SINCO.GRID, a smart grids project that enhances links between the electricity grids of Slovenia and Croatia and gives a boost to the use of renewable energy in the region. Huge replication potential expected.
The project will integrate several innovative technologies to ensure that grids have the capacity to efficiently transmit electricity across the border between the two countries. A new virtual cross-border control centre, that makes use of specialist IT infrastructure and software, will also regulate the flow of electricity from renewable sources. The project will also ensure that more energy can be generated by smaller, local power sources. In addition, it will increase energy storage capacity in the region, so that energy generated can be kept in reserve for when it is most needed.
Once complete, the project will also improve security of energy supply in the region. The new technologies applied in this project have the potential to be used to connect other regional energy systems in Europe. The project has also been highlighted as a ‘technologically advanced smart grid project’ in the World Energy Council’s World Energy Trilemma Index 2016, which ranks countries on their ability to provide sustainable energy.
The project’s total value is EUR 88 million. It will receive EU funding in the amount of EUR 40 million as a Project of Common Interest (PCI). The CEF grant will co-finance the first phase of the SINCRO.GRID project. Representatives of the European Commission, the EU’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency, and the companies involved in implementing the project (HOPS and HEP ODS from Croatia, and SODO and ELES from Slovenia) signed the agreement in Brussels.