Digital Substations 2019 Blog

Digital Substations 2019 Blog

Very Early Bird Rate Expires this Friday 27th September!

We are now just 8 weeks away from the 4th annual Digital Substations 2019, and the response to this year’s utility-driven, implementation-focussed programme has been phenomenal! To secure your place at the Very Early Bird rate saving you €400 on delegate places and €2,000 on exhibition spaces, visit the registration page of the event website and book before midnight this Friday 27th September 2019.

With 100+ substation professionals in attendance reviewing 20+ utility implementation case-studies, this is your opportunity to get to grips with the most timely and business critical issues facing substation professionals today. System tendering and specification, design and implementation, advanced functionalities, testing and certification, operation and maintenance, and future system developments in the context of IoT, Cloud, AI & ML will be discussed in unparalleled technical detail and depth.

Discussion Themes Include:

  • Digital Substation Refurbishment – developing a robust roadmap for effectively integrating next generation digital substation technology with legacy infrastructure
  • Substation Design and System Architecture – configuring, testing, and future proofing systems and advanced functionalities to effectively support the evolving grid
  • Operation and Maintenance – establishing a framework to enhance condition monitoring and predictive maintenance in order to maximise lifecycle management and optimise investment budgets
  • Advanced Data Analytics – leveraging advanced data management and processing to enhance operational efficiency and maximise grid security
  • Cybersecurity – fully protecting digital substations through advanced prevention and detection systems to ensure rapid response within the evolving threat landscape
  • Competency Management – up-skilling operational and maintenance crews, and improving workforce engagement in alignment with the increasing complexities of digital substation rollout

20+ Utility Case Study Speakers Including:

  • René Troost, Grid Strategist – Stedin
  • Priyanka Mohapatra, Innovation Lead – SP Power Networks
  • Pablo Flores Hermes, Head of Digital Supervision and Substation Automation – Eletrosul
  • Sergio Ramos Pinto, Assistant Director, Networks Digital Platform – EDP
  • Alex Apostolov, Principal Engineer – OMICRON
  • Michael Rotzinger, SAS – Project Manager – Swissgrid
  • Tom Segers, Head of Digitalisation and Communication Technology – Fluvius
  • Robert Le Roux, Primary Plant Specialist – ESB International
  • Vincent Gliniewicz, R&D Engineer – Vattenfall R&D
  • Fabio Giommanco, Head of Smart Grid Devices – Enel
  • Petr Lang, Head of Strategic Asset Management – E.ON Česká Republika
  • Michael Ricketts, Head of Data and Analytics Manager for Distribution – SSE Networks

Past Testimonials:

“Large diversity of subjects presented regarding intelligent substations, which gave me a more concrete image of future smart grids than I have previously seen”Alexander Schouwenaar, Data Scientist – Enexis
“Some excellent presentations and a really good look into the future.”Alfred Einfalt, Senior Key Expert – Siemens
“A very informative and entertaining event. Good networking opportunities”Ray Zhang, Technical Leader, Protection, Control & Automation – National Grid
“IntelliSub Europe 2018 provided a range of very interesting topics and speakers with great delivery.”Alvar Suun, Chief Specialist, Network Technology Development – Elektrilevi
“Good case studies. Explained some of the issues with top-down IEC 61850 modelling with enthusiastic presenters!”Andrew West, Regional Technical Director – SUBNET

Register Today!

To find out how you can participate as a Delegate, Exhibitor or Sponsor:

Call:   +44 (0)20 3691 1700

Email: registration@smartgrid-forums.com

Visit:   Digital Substations 2019

We look forward to welcoming you to Berlin in November.

PS: Very Early Bird Rate! Save €400 on delegate places and €2,000 on exhibitor spaces by booking before Friday 27th September 2019.

PPS: Group booking discount! Save a further 10% on 3+ delegates booked from the same organisation at the same time.


Red Eléctrica Case Study for Maintenance Crew Upskilling

The conventional view of the grid is rapidly changing. As the grid becomes more complex and dynamic, better knowledge and skills are needed to respond to these changes. With the deployment of digital substations gaining momentum, utilities need to adapt their processes and culture to befit these changes.

A hot topic on the utility agenda is IEC 61850 Process Bus implementation. The long-term time and cost savings are a sure benefit; however, this also means that utilities must be prepared for this evolution in their PACS. New training and skills are needed to reduce the risks associated with this implementation. Part of this involves applying a deep life cycle analysis, from design and engineering, to operation and maintenance.

In light of this, we are delighted to announce that Javier Figuera Pozuelo, Senior Engineer at Red Eléctrica de España will be joining the speaker line up at Digital Substations 2019. Javier is currently leading on new PACS design processes including developing an in-house training program to prepare for this transition, and will focus specifically on the operation and maintenance of the Digital Substation.

We caught up with Javier this week and he kindly provided us with a sneak peak into what he will be sharing at the conference:

“According to the current state of the art IEC 61850 scenario, most of the benefits (mainly savings in time and money) that come from a Station Bus IEC 61850 PACS implementation can be achieved. Nevertheless, companies must be prepared for this evolution in their PACS. This preparation step (culture and processes adaptation) will help to reduce risks when implementing IEC 61850 PACS. It is a different solution that requires training in order to apply it properly and use it efficiently. Additionally, IEC 61850 Process Bus implementation will increase both, the mentioned benefits and the need for procedure and process adaptation.

In order to make the most of IEC 61850 PACS, a deep Life Cycle Analysis must be applied. During the different PACS lifecycle stages, from design, engineering to operation and maintenance, different drivers (modularity, maintainability, extendibility, security and safety, etc.) will arise to be considered from the first design step. Additionally, utilities will need to assess if it is needed alongside any cultural or process adaptation.

REE’s proposal is applying this cultural approach in terms of operation and maintenance of the Digital Substation, based on processes and people in order to assure that the objective functions are completely fulfilled. Considering current staff skills and knowledge, not only have different actions been launched within REE (training courses, internal surveys, roles definition, engineering and O&M tools) but also the technical design has been revised and updated (technical specifications, cybersecurity requirements, systems monitoring, IED’s isolations and test, incidents analysis, etc.). 

I look forward to sharing details of our approach, with insights into what has worked well for us, what challenges we’ve had to overcome, and how we propose to develop our roadmap.”

Javier will be joined by 20+ other utility case-studies scheduled to take place at Digital Substations 2019. In addition to these high-quality, implementation-focussed case studies, we have an in-depth, 90-minute tutorial on AI & ML for substations, a technology innovation panel discussion with market-leading vendors, a series of end-user driven roundtable discussions, a live demo lab of the latest tools and technologies, and an evening networking reception open to all participants.

20+ Utility Case Study Speakers Including:

  • René Troost, Grid Strategist – Stedin
  • Priyanka Mohapatra, Innovation Lead – SP Power Networks
  • Pablo Flores Hermes, Head of Digital Supervision and Substation Automation – Eletrosul
  • Sergio Ramos Pinto, Assistant Director, Networks Digital Platform – EDP
  • Alex Apostolov, Principal Engineer – OMICRON
  • Michael Rotzinger, SAS – Project Manager – Swissgrid
  • Tom Segers, Head of Digitalisation and Communication Technology – Fluvius
  • Robert Le Roux, Primary Plant Specialist – ESB International
  • Vincent Gliniewicz, R&D Engineer – Vattenfall R&D
  • Fabio Giommanco, Head of Smart Grid Devices – Enel
  • Petr Lang, Head of Strategic Asset Management – E.ON Česká Republika
  • Michael Ricketts, Head of Data and Analytics Manager for Distribution – SSE Networks

View the full line-up

Join the Solution Zone:

Would you like the opportunity to raise your brand profile, demonstrate your products and services and share your expertise with the most targeted and influential group of Digital Substation Professionals and decision makers?

Our adjoining exhibition area provides the perfect platform for you to do this and more! Capped at 10 stands, we ensure a focused and relevant display of the latest tools, technologies and services for our audience, and maximum visibility for each exhibitor.

Find out more

Register Today!

To find out how you can participate as a Delegate, Exhibitor or Sponsor:

Call:   +44 (0)20 3691 1700

Email: registration@smartgrid-forums.com

Visit:   Digital Substations 2019

We look forward to welcoming you to Berlin in November.


13 weeks until Digital Substations 2019 – final call for you to join the Solution Zone!

“The global digital utility market is predicted to touch USD 253 billion at a 12% CAGR over the forecast period of 2017 to 2023.” Digital Journal

With just 13 weeks until the 4th annual Digital Substation 2019 conference, exhibition and networking forum, this is the final call for Digital Substation solution providers who wish to join the exhibition, deliver a live demo lab, or participate in the technology innovation panel discussions taking place this year.

If you know of an up and coming solution provider that you’d like to meet in the solution zone this year, please drop us a line at: registration@smartgrid-forums.com and we will be happy to investigate and invite.

Supplier categories of greatest interest to our end-user utility audience include:

  • System Suppliers
  • System Component Suppliers
  • Cybersecurity
  • Testing & Certification Services

This is a fantastic opportunity to meet with 100+ Digital Substation experts, get up to speed with the latest technology procurement choices, discover implementation lessons learnt from 20+ utility case-studies, participate in a wide range of intimate roundtable discussions, and form new collaborations across the European Digital Substation community.

We are very excited to have Fortinet as Gold Sponsors and COPA-DATA as Silver Sponsors. With ETAP also already confirmed as an exhibitor, we have many others in the process of finalising their involvement within the next week.

With just a handful of positions available, contact us today to recommend the up and coming tech innovators that you’d like to see in the zone this year!

Register today!

To find out how you can participate as a Delegate, Exhibitor or Sponsor:

Call:      +44 (0)20 8349 6360
Email:   registration@smartgrid-forums.com 
Visit:     Digital Substations 2019

We look forward to welcoming you Berlin in November 2019


SSE Case Study on Data Management & Analytics

As more and more IoT sensors are deployed across the power grid, utilities are challenged with capturing, managing and utilising the high volumes of data that are now flooding the grid, to gain new insights and drive new levels of operational efficiency.

AI & ML techniques can provide credible support to this process, yet utility substation automation teams must be prepared to demonstrate the value of investing in these technologies to their senior management in order to secure the investment levels that will ensure they create the roadmaps that will drive their substation digitisation to an advanced level.

At Digital Substation 2019 we are delighted to have Michael Ricketts, Data and Analytics Manager for Distribution, and Mark Fenton, Senior Data Scientist at SSE Networks join the speaker line up to address this issue. Michael and Mark are currently leading a project on how utilities can maximise the visibility of their data through the use of advanced data analytics to generate deep operational insights and optimise long term investment budgets. We caught up with them, and they were happy to share a summary of what their presentation will include:

“External pressure is building on UK DNO’s to increase the visibility of data. It is thought that this will help to develop tools such as a unified digital map of the energy system and a single portal for asset registration, maximising value from data to help achieve targets set against a low carbon future.

The regulatory and legal frameworks are not yet set as we transition towards this future and there are still short-term deliverables that must be met in the current price controls and regulatory framework. It is therefore essential to have a clear roadmap and system in place to manage the data we have and to leverage short and long-term value for the changing face of the customer in a safe, reliable and secure way.

SSE has developed an internal centre of excellence at a group level and empowered new functional Data and Analytics teams at Distribution business level. Through agile working practices and a team-based Governance model we have been able to identify, prioritise and deliver valuable insight against the problems of today and the solutions for the future.

By empowering business teams that have partnered with senior data scientists, AI practitioners and a global head of Data Science we have been able to spin up analytical discoveries that are both business and data led. These discoveries have helped define value, identify priority data sets, develop optimised algorithms for our Network and identify areas for data improvement and enrichment.

We will be able to present use cases and methodologies covering fault prediction models, EV forecasting, LV monitoring optimisation and consumption modelling.”

Michael and Mark will be joined by 20+ other utility case-studies that are scheduled to take place at Digital Substations 2019. In addition to these high-quality, implementation focused case studies, we have an in-depth 90-minute tutorial on AI & ML for substations, a technology innovation panel discussion with market-leading vendors, a series of end-user driven roundtable discussions, a live demo lab of the latest tools and technologies, and an evening networking reception open to all participants.


100+ substation automation professionals will convene in Berlin to determine strategies for accelerating the mass roll-out of digital substations to maximise grid visibility, reliability and security

European utilities are under immense pressure to refurbish their brownfield substations sites whilst simultaneously accelerating the deployment of next generation digital substation systems to improve grid visibility, reliability and security. And with a plethora of digital substation systems entering the market, the opportunity to procure high functionality, flexible, and future-proofed systems that maximise lifecycle whilst optimising investment are great.

But with the opportunities that next generation systems present come significant implementation, operation and maintenance challenges that must be addressed before system integration and operation can take place.

The majority of utilities we spoke to during our programme research for this year’s programme are now focused on integrating advanced process bus-based systems into their legacy infrastructure.” Explains Marcella Cilia, Conference Producer at Smart Grid Forums, the organisers of Digital Substation 2019. “However, with cybersecurity vulnerabilities inherent in these systems the product assessment, procurement and deployment process is taking far longer than desired. As a result, we have formulated this year’s programme to address the strategic, procurement, implementation, operation, and maintenance issues that must be considered before investment can be accelerated.

Digital Substations 2019 takes place 26-28 November 2019 in Berlin. Over 3 intensive conference days participants will get the opportunity to review the latest digital substation implementation case studies, participate in technology innovation panel discussions, problem solve during the end-user roundtable discussions, make new contacts during the evening networking reception, and technology scout through the exhibition area running alongside the conference.

Discussion topics include:

  • Digital Substation Refurbishment – developing a robust roadmap for effectively integrating next generation digital substation technology with legacy infrastructure
  • Substation Design and System Architecture – configuring, testing, and futureproofing systems and advanced functionalities to effectively support the evolving grid
  • Operation and Maintenance – establishing a robust framework to enhance condition monitoring and predictive maintenance in order to maximise lifecycle management and optimise investment budgets
  • Advanced Data Analytics – leveraging advanced data management and processing to enhance operational efficiency and maximise grid security
  • Cybersecurity – fully protecting digital substations through advanced prevention and detection systems to ensure rapid response within the evolving threat landscape
  • Competency Management – upskilling operational and maintenance crews and improving workforce engagement in alignment with the increasing complexities of digital substation rollout

Speakers include:

  • Rene Troost, Grid Strategist – Stedin
  • Wim De Maesschalck, Substation Design Specialist – Fluvius
  • Priyanka Mohapatra, Senior Project Manager – Scottish Power
  • Pablo Flores Hermes, Head of Digital Supervision and Substation Automation – Electrosul
  • Helder Barbosa, Project Manager for Substation Automation – EDP
  • Robert Le Roux, Tendering Specialist – ESB International
  • Tim Montag, Head of System Operations – P3 Consulting Group
  • Javier Figuera Pozuelo, Senior Design Engineer – Red Electrica de Espana
  • Tom Segers, Head of Digitalisation and Communication Technology – Fluvius 
  • Jennifer Mackenzie, Senior Engineer – Scottish Power
  • Michael Rotzinger, Project Manager of Substation Automation – Swissgrid
  • Fabio Giommanco, Head of Smart Grid Devices – Enel
  • Petr Lang, Head of Strategic Asset Management – E.ON Ceska Republica
  • Andre Naumann, Head of Energy Systems – Franhoufer IFF
  • Jürgen Tusch, Head of Telecoms – Innogy
  • Thomas Rudolph, CTO Energy Automation – Schneider Electric

With many more in the process of finalising the contributions.

With many more in the process of finalising the contributions.

Digital substation system, component and service suppliers are invited to join the solution zone, to raise their brand profile, demonstrate their products and services and share their expertise with the most targeted and influential group of digital substation implementation leaders and decision makers. Capped at 10 stands we ensure a focused and relevant display of the latest tools, technologies and services for our utility audience and maximum visibility for each of the exhibitors attending Digital Substations 2019.

Testimonials from past editions:

“A very informative and entertaining event. Good networking opportunities”

Ray Zhang, Technical Leader, Protection, Control & Automation – National Grid


“IntelliSub Europe provided a range of very interesting topics and speakers with great delivery.”

Alvar Suun, Chief Specialist, Network Technology Development – Elektrilevi


“Good case studies. Explained some of the issues with top-down IEC 61850 modelling with enthusiastic presenters!”

Andrew West, Regional Technical Director – SUBNET


“Some excellent presentations and a really good look into the future.”

Alfred Einfalt, Senior Key Expert – Siemens


“Large diversity of subjects presented regarding intelligent substations, which gave me a more concrete image of future smart grids than I have previously seen”

Alexander Schouwenaar, Data Scientist – Enexis


Event dates and location:

Conference: 26-28 November 2019
Location: Berlin, Germany

Event website: Digital Substations 2019


Future Functionalities of the Dynamic Grid – Case Study from E.ON

Substation digitisation is now at the top of utilities’ agendas. However, the integration of DERs, battery storage and electrical vehicles is presenting new complexities and slowing down the pace at which full digitisation can be achieved. The pressure is on for utilities to refine their technology choices, fine-tune their procurement practices, drive their implementation and be ready to respond to any operational challenges that digital substations present, in the race to achieve full digitation of the grid.

With a plethora of sophisticated high functionality digital substation systems on the market, the challenge facing utilities is how to prioritise and activate the most business-critical functionalities to ensure the most rapid return on substation investment. 

It was with this in mind that we invited Alberto Dognini, Research Associate at the Institute for Automation of Complex Power Systems at E.ON Energy Research Centre (RWTH Aachen University) to present at Digital Substations 2019. Alberto is currently leading a project that guides utilities on how to unlock the full potential of next generation digital substation systems. We caught up with Alberto this week and he explained:

“The energy system is subject to an increasing complexity. This depends, among other things on the continuous transformation of its automation features and the great amount of data that is exchanged between its components. In order to face these changes, there is an urgent need to unlock Smart Grid technologies and services. In particular, significant results are being obtained by the use of 5G mobile network communications, which provide security, resilience and high availability mechanism in the energy sector. Moreover, the employment of cloud-based platforms allows scalable solutions based on decentralized and distributed architectures, in which each power network management service constitutes an individual block.

These technologies open remarkable possibilities in the development of power system algorithms. In particular, a Service Restoration component has been implemented in our Smart Energy cloud platform: it continuously analyses the data transmitted in real-time from field devices of the grid model and, in case of electrical fault, computes the optimal reconfiguration scheme to re-energize the disconnected loads. As next step, the advantages of cloud technology will address our research to implement the algorithm in Multi-Agent Systems (MAS).

In another test setup, the 5G communication is used to exchange control commands between the converter-based components, as DERs or batteries, in order to regulate the grid voltage by considering the load/generation forecasts. In the near future, other power system functionalities will be included.

Moreover, the Medium Voltage Direct Current (MVDC) Research Grid that is realized in our university campus allows us to study the impact of this new technology on the traditional AC system. In this direction, a Network Reconfiguration algorithm identifies and applies the grid topology that minimizes the power losses in the varying load profiles.” 

Alberto’s will be one of 20+ utility case-studies scheduled to take place at Digital Substations 2019. Alongside the case-study conference programme we have a dedicated 90-minute tutorial on AI & ML for substations, a number of technology innovation panel discussions, a series of end-user driven roundtable discussions, a live demo lab of the latest tools and technologies, and an evening networking reception open to all participants.

Join the Solution Zone

Would you like the opportunity to raise your brand profile, demonstrate your products and services and share your expertise with the most targeted and influential group of Digital Substation Professionals and decision makers?

Our adjoining exhibition area provides the perfect platform for you to do this and more! Capped at 10 stands we ensure a focused and relevant display of the latest tools, technologies and services for our audience and maximum visibility for each exhibitor.

Register today!

To find out how you can participate as a Delegate, Exhibitor or Sponsor:

Call:      +44 (0)20 8349 6360
Email:   registration@smartgrid-forums.com 
Visit:     Digital Substations 2019

We look forward to welcoming you Berlin in November 2019


Registration is now live for Digital Substations 2019

Welcome to the 4th annual Digital Substations 2019 conference, exhibition and networking forum, taking place 26th – 28th November in Berlin.

Whether you are refurbishing your existing legacy infrastructure or deploying the large scale roll out of digital substation systems, this event will provide you with an essential platform to maximise the lifecycle of your critical and non-critical assets whilst optimising investment budgets. Over 3 intensive days, you will have endless opportunities to exchange new ideas, share implementation lessons from cutting-edge projects and establish new connections with a wide range of European Digital Substation professionals and decision makers.

With 16+ utility case-studies being presented by some of Europe’s top TSOs and DSOs, this is the only event that focuses specifically on tackling the implementation, operational and maintenance challenges preventing full system integration and operation.  This highly researched and detailed programme will play an instrumental role in accelerating the essential procurement choices that all utilities have to make with a plethora of newly advanced technology choices to ultimately drive the digitalisation process. A full range of digital substation topics will be scrutinised, including system tendering and specification, design and implementation, advanced functionalities, testing and certification, operation and maintenance, as well as future system developments in the context of IoT, Cloud, AI & ML among others.

Whether you’re involved in driving forward the implementation of next generation systems, developing future-proofed, cybersecure systems or investigating new and innovative methods to leverage future technologies amidst an influx of substation data, this event will provide you with the in-depth practical information you need to drive greater efficiency, enhance operational excellence, and generate longer-lasting results.

FACT: The global digital substations market is expected to grow over 50% between 2017 to 2023 (Source: Utilities-MiddleEast)

Discussion Themes Include:

  • Digital Substation Refurbishment – developing a robust roadmap for effectively integrating next generation digital substation technology with legacy infrastructure
  • Substation Design and System Architecture – configuring, testing, and futureproofing systems and advanced functionalities to effectively support the evolving grid
  • Operation and Maintenance – establishing a robust framework to enhance condition monitoring and predictive maintenance in order to maximise lifecycle management and optimise investment budgets
  • Advanced Data Analytics – leveraging advanced data management and processing to enhance operational efficiency and maximise grid security
  • Cybersecurity – fully protecting digital substations through advanced prevention and detection systems to ensure rapid response within the evolving threat landscape
  • Competency Management – upskilling operational and maintenance crews and improving workforce engagement in alignment with the increasing complexities of digital substation rollout

Speakers Include:

  • Rene Troost, Grid Strategist – Stedin
  • Priyanka Mohapatra, Senior Project Manager – Scottish Power
  • Pablo Flores Hermes, Head of Digital Supervision and Substation Automation – Electrosul
  • Sergio Ramos Pinto, Assistant Director, Networks Digital Platform – EDP
  • Alex Apastolov, Technical Project Manager for IEC 61850– OMINCRON Electronics; Editor-in-chief, PACWorld Magazine
  • Michael Rotzinger, Project Manager of Substation Automation – Swissgrid
  • Wim De Maesschalck, Substation Design Specialist – Fluvius
  • Robert Le Roux, Tendering Specialist – ESB International
  • Vincent Gliniewicz, R&D Engineer – Vattenfall R&D
  • Fabio Giommanco, Head of Smart Grid Devices – Enel
  • Petr Lang, Head of Strategic Asset Management – E.ON Ceska Republica
  • Michael Ricketts – Head of Data and Analytics Manager for Distribution – SSE Networks

Sponsorship and Exhibition opportunities:

Would you like the opportunity to raise your brand profile, demonstrate your products and services and share your expertise with the most targeted and influential group of Digital Substation Professionals and decision makers?

Our adjoining exhibition area provides the perfect platform for you to do this and more! Capped at 10 stands we ensure a focused and relevant display of the latest tools, technologies and services for our audience and maximum visibility for each exhibitor.

To find out more about the various sponsorship and exhibition opportunities:

Call:      +44 (0)20 3691 1700

Email:   registration@smartgrid-forums.com

Register today!

To find out how you can participate as a Delegate, Exhibitor or Sponsor:

Call:      +44 (0)20 8349 6360
Email:   registration@smartgrid-forums.com 
Visit:     Digital Substations 2019

We look forward to welcoming you to the event in November 2019