GrowSmarter, innovative solutions for smart cities

Two chargers installed by Endesa in Barcelona

The “Internet of Things” benefiting the community and general public

The value of this smart city project lies in that it is now not only about developing new technologies but about putting them into practice and connecting them with one another. Barcelona will have five transformer substations equipped with IoT technology (Internet of things). By using this technology, we will not only improve the operability of the transformer substation and the safety of workers, but we also want to obtain information to contribute towards improving the management of the city.

New smoke detectors are being installed, together with alarms to prevent robberies or flooding. A mobile app will enable all the transformer substations to be controlled and monitored on a real-time basis. “The long-term aim is to be able to predict incidents and thus act in a preventive manner", added the project manager at Endesa.

The manner in which Endesa’s assets can be used is also being studied, in order to facilitate communications between other types of facilities, such as other utilities’ meters, as well as implementing low frequency communications (LoRa technology), a technology that offers greater scope and low maintenance costs.

“Providing society with useful information that will help to improve the lives of people is a priority for us in this project”

– Carlos Rodríguez, Project Manager at GrowSmarter Endesa

The target: smart cities, sustainable cities

This Smart city project has set itself ambitious targets. Europe expects to reduce energy consumption by 60% and transport emissions by another 60%. GrowSmarter can generate significant benefits not only for the environment or the economy but for society as a whole. In this regard, one of the first areas in which work is being carried out, although still in early and experimental stages, is to try to use information to benefit non-profit organisations, high-risk groups and people with difficulties such as those with hearing or mobility impairments.

Growsmarter is a model to be followed with regard to the organisation of the smart cities of the future. It is, above all, a project that involves collaboration and teamwork. The 38 partners that form part of the project are testament to this. These include, apart from Endesa, the IESE, Philips, IBM, Schneider, Abertis or IREC.

Around thirty European cities, including Graz, Malta and Oporto are keeping a close eye on these “lighthouse cities” so they can learn from their experiences and integrate some of their innovative solutions. We will have to wait around three years to see the results "Endesa has a clear commitment to this project and we are all working proactively to make a success of it", added Carlos Rodríguez. At the moment, the smart cities’ “lighthouse” is guiding the rest of the cities to ensure a smart energy future.