Smartcity Málaga Living Lab: a laboratory to create the city of the future

“Smart City Málaga Living Lab is the key to Enel's Open Innovation process, because it quickly, systematically and securely provides the necessary conditions to create, validate, test and show the results of innovation in a real environment”

– Jorge Sánchez Cifuentes, Head of New Technology

Málaga has been selected to be a city of growth with a large infrastructure in which it can test and validate products and services. Support has also been provided here from the Town Hall of Málaga, the Regional Government of Andalusia (Junta de Andalucía) and the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).

Smartcity Málaga Living Lab forms part of Enel Group's ecosystem for researching and developing of solutions in distributing electricity. The Enel Group also has other Living Labs besides the one in Málaga, like those in the Italian cities of Savona, Bari and Milan, where it also studies and tests products and services in a real environment. A support laboratory for Enel’s Innovation Hub will open soon in Haifa, Israel to allow experimentation activities for startups detected in the Hub. It will also support the results of the facilities in Seville, Barcelona and Zaragoza, where innovations on electrical grids are also being implemented.

Research and validation of smart city technologies

Since 2009, Smartcity Málaga has been a real laboratory looking for a more efficient and environmentally friendly model. During that entire time, it was the pilot initiative of the current Living Lab, which promotes innovation in order to achieve a sustainable energy future.

There are two types of projects carried out in Málaga: those oriented toward validating products, services and technologies involving different business units of the company, and others pushed by consortia made up of organisations dedicated to research and private companies, like IBM, ALSTOM and Telefónica, which are focused on developing technologies that serve to develop new products.

Some of the products developed include Green eMotion, ZEM2ALL and Victoria. Currently, there are several projects underway, such as MONICA, PALOMA, Flexiciency and Smart Terminal. With them, we are searching for solutions that improve the current grid, focused on several areas of action:

  • The monitoring and control of the low and medium voltage grids, the study of the loss of energy on the grid and the impact of quickly charging electric buses on low voltage grids.
  • The integration of a micro electric grid along the seaside promenade of Málaga with which it manages and studies all generation, storage and energy consumption.
Malaga, la ciudad del futuro con Living Lab

Wind streetlight and solar panels in Málaga

Within the Open Innovation Living Lab, there is a place called the Control and Monitoring Center (CCM), which serves as a space for carrying out management operations, and where visitors can be served. A total of 67 companies and 32 research centres and universities have attended the CCM between 2009 and 2017.

The results of the first conclusions analysed between 2009 and 2012 were excellent: 15% of consumption has been covered through distributed generation obtained from renewable energies, with a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions. [Smartcity] Málaga Living Lab is now a permanent laboratory in which, thanks to the entire infrastructure already implemented, it is possible to validate technologies that will improve the lives of citizens and will allow advancing toward the cities of the future.