Energy Savings, “Smart Grids” and Renewable Sources

Energy Manager and Energy Savings

In compliance with Law 10/91 establishing the Regulations for Implementing the National Energy Plan Concerning Rational Use of Renewable Energy Sources, Acea Group has Energy Manager in each of its leading subsidiaries to carefully oversee the processes with the highest levels of energy consumption in order to achieve the best possible results in terms of reducing consumption.

A workgroup comprising all water company Energy Manager supported by technical staff from the Holding Company industrial sector was established by the Group. This workgroup continues to support companies in order to ensure ongoing energy sufficiency in water systems and networks. The main activities involved include the following:

1. monitoring electricity consumption (overall and specific) and energy efficiency indexes115 for all companies, especially in relation to the plants consuming the most energy, such as water treatment plants. The overall number of Acea Ato 2 plants monitored specifically amounts to 164;
2. analyzing the network to identify methods for improving efficiency (for example, it may be better to take samples from certain plants rather than others or at night rather than in daytime);
3. analyzing and searching for leaks;
4. producing a monthly report on energy consumption trend to control and plan actions.

The monthly and annual efficiency trends are examined to highlight any problems and rapidly verify the cause of inefficiency (maintenance underway, the need to renew tools or equipment, etc.).
The aforementioned monitoring system led to savings of around 20 GWh in drinking water retrieval systems in 2009 with respect to the year before.

Smart Grids and Energy Saving Certificates

The Group began incorporating the electricity network with the IT network in 2009 to develop “smart grids”, in other words networks that are required to incorporate actions by energy producers, users/consumers and distributors.
The Group develops and exploits new technologies through two companies: Acea Reti e Servizi Energetici (100% owned by Acea SpA) and Ecogena (51% owned by Acea SpA). The former company is responsible for identifying and implementing actions to achieve energy savings in compliance with current laws concerning energy suppliers and is also involved in the solar-energy sector. The latter develops civil and industrial co-generation and tri-generation systems116, and will play an important role in interconnecting networks and establishing “smart grids”.
“Smart grids” are also related to forecast development of electric or hybrid cars, in other words cars with both traditional engines and a smaller battery-powered engine. Two- way communication between a grid (smart) and such vehicles, for example via a power cable or wireless technology, is needed before electric cars can become popular on the market, not only to ensure they can be charged, but also to return energy to the grid. These are ambitious objectives, but they comply with the European intention to innovate the electricity network throughout Europe.

One of the essential tasks of Acea Reti e Servizi Energetici is to achieve energy savings to thereby obtain Energy Efficiency Certificates (TEE in Italian ) or “White Certificates” by implementing the various initiatives aimed at just this. TEEs differ according tot he energy source saved (type I, II or III certificates for savings in electricity, gas or other energy source) and are awarded by the Electricity and Gas Authority in view of various initiatives.
The results achieved by Acea Reti e Servizi Energetici over the last few years have been very satisfactory and ensured fulfilment of the targets concerning energy saving established for Acea Distribuzione. The operations carried out for this purpose included both distributing CFL bulbs and water kits to families and replacing the traditional votive light bulbs with LED lights and improving lighting in Rome underground stations.
As the initiatives already underway have led to more certificates than expected for Acea Distribuzione, new projects were implemented in 2009.
Over 500,000 excess certificates were accumulated in 2009 (see Table 77)117 and 358,467 certificates were transferred to other companies in 2006-2009.

115 In the case of a pump, this index could be represented by the ratio between energy consumed and amount of water pumped.
116
Co-generation, in other words combined production of electricity and thermal energy, provides high efficiency: between 80 and 90%. Tri-generation is a particular application allowing use of all or part of thermal energy recovered to produce refrigerating energy in the form of refrigerated water for air conditioning or industrial processes117 Around 28,000 type III TEEs should be added to the number illustrated in Table 77.

Table 77 – ACEA DISTRIBUZIONE TARGETS CONCERNING SAVINGS AND OBJECTIVES ACHIEVED (2006 – 2009)

year
target
(Tep/year)
target achieved by Acea
(Tep/year)
excess certificates accumulated
(Tep/year)
2006
7,850
58,988
69,974
2007 15,596127,148
181,526
200849,131
223,074
355,469
200973,335
226,859
508,993

Ecogena also receives energy efficiency certificates through co-generation and tri-generation stations (see relative box) and will build stations for overall output of 4.3 MWe between 2009 and 2010 (see Table 78):

Table 78 – PROJECTS FOR CO-GENERATION/TRI-GENERATION STATIONS (2009-2010)

station
electricity output
(MWe)
thermal output
(MWt)
refrigerating output
(MWf)
Saxa Rubra district
start-up Jan. 2009)
0.91.91.2
Canottieri Aniene sport centre (start-up Sept. 2009)0.250.42-
Bufalotta district
(avviato sett. 2009)
18.44.5
Torrino Nord district
(start-up Dec. 2009)
0.251.61.5

Park Hotel ai Cappuccini in Gubbio
(start-up Dec. 2009)

0.090.17-
Fin di Ostia federal centre
(start-up forecast March 2010)
0.090.17-
Fin di Pietralata federal centre
(start-up forecast March 2010)
0.090.17-
Villa Flaminia sport centre
(start-up forecast March 2010)
0.090.17-
Sigma Tau in Pomezia
(start-up forecast March 2010)
2.42.0-
Fin di Marconi federal centre
(start-up forecast April 2010)
0.090.17-

Box – Ecogena: Energy Savings and Co-generation

Ecogena carries out projects to save energy via co-generation and tri-generation, implementing works using natural gas or renewable energy sources. Ecogena can intervene in any energy sector and propose both improvements to existing stations and new stations.
One of the essential elements in these buildings is recovering heat, in other words thermal energy that would otherwise be lost, and this ability ensures more efficient use of primary energy with respect to traditional stations.
In addition to better performances, white certificates demonstrating results in energy savings can be obtained and other benefits of an environmental nature, i.e. avoiding emission of large amounts of CO2 and using less primary energy.
An example of a station that has been built and became operational in September 2009 is the tri-generation station in “La Bufalotta” district of Rome comprising around 1,300 homes.
In addition to lower CO2 emissions, this station will ensure economic savings (around 13% a year) once it becomes fully operational. More specifically, with respect to a traditional system producing separate thermal and refrigerating energy, this system is expected to save around 450 g of CO2 per KWhe produced, in other words 1,000 tons per year.

Renewable Energy from the Wind and the Sun

In addition to energy produced using water, pulper and WDF from Waste-To-Energy procedures as a source (the latter only partly renewable) as described above, Acea’s commitment to increasing production from renewable sources is demonstrated through installation of new Wind Farms and development of photovoltaic systems. AceaElectrabel Produzione is continuing to expand production capacity through wind: the Wind Farm in Monte della Difesa, in the province of Salerno with output of 28.9 MW and which in 2009 produced over 41 GWh joined the two Wind Farms operating in Molis118. The gross amount of electricity produced by Wind Farms amounted to 76 GWh, around 18 GWh of which by Acea, according to shareholding (see Tables 67, 68, 71 and attached CD comprising Environmental Accounts).
Design of the “Cresta del Gallo” Wind Farm (province of Avellino) was also completed and will provide output of around 15 MW, while installation of the “Piano del Cornale” Wind Farm (province of Salerno) continued and will provide output of around 20 MW.
With regard to solar energy, further to the projects completed in 2008 providing overall output of around 3 MWp – including the system installed on the Monte Mario water station for about 1 MWp, inaugurated by the Mayor of Rome in 2009 – other systems were installed throughout 2009. The most important of these include that in Fiumicino Airport area, one of the largest in Italy with output of around 2 MWp and totally integrated119, and the ground system with output exceeding 2 MWp in Terracina. Systems providing around 17 MWp were operational by the end of 2009.
The overall amount of energy produced through solar systems in 2009 was 3,485,000 kWh

Box – Photovoltaic System Supervision

In view of the importance of checking productivity in photovoltaic systems, a monitoring and supervision platform was implemented in 2009, which was considered essential for general, taking into account that:
  • a large number of photovoltaic systems have been installed:
    40 were already connected to the electricity grid as at 31.12.2009 (not all of which yet monitored, but planned for inclusion in the project);
  • systems are various sizes, have different features and are located in several areas and regions (Lazio, Campania, Puglia and Umbria, including those under installation).

This supervision platform ensures availability of a wide range of information in real time, e.g. output, energy produced daily, monthly and all together, tons of CO2 saved, etc.

118 Output amounts to 10.2 MWand 9.4 MW respectively and the two systems belong to Longano Eolica (15% owned by Acea SpA).
119 Photovoltaic systems are completely integrated when, for example, they replace standard roof coverings and building facades and therefore have the same inclination and architectural task or when they are the used to cover cantilevers and canopies.