Energy transition without the development and automation of distribution grids is not possible. We are investing in the distribution business so that it can meet the challenges of the modern energy industry.
Connecting new customers
For PGE Dystrybucja S.A., connection tasks are about development, resulting in an increase in connection capacity and contributing to increased connection capabilities in the future. In 2021 the largest expenditures in amount of PLN 626 million were incurred for connection of new off-takers.
The Czosnów node realisation
PGE also continued implementing another stage of its investment at the Czosnów node in 2021. The 110/15 kV substation in Czosnów along with the HV power lines currently under construction will enhance the security of electricity supply and make it possible to connect new facilities to the grid. The Czosnów node is the most expensive and largest grid investment in the Mazowsze region being implemented by PGE Dystrybucja. The Main Electrical Substation Czosnów has already been built along with two tracks of a 110 kV cable line with the length of 14.8 km, which connects the existing substation in Łomianki with the new 110/15 kV substation in Czosnów and is the longest HV cable line owned by PGE Dystrybucja. Another 110 kV HV line was built, connecting Legionowo, Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki, Czosnów and Łomianki.
The new overhead and cable line with the length of approx. 9.1 km was connected to the existing 110 kV line Legionowo – Nowy Dwór Mazowiecki. The final, fourth stage of the investment, i.e. construction of two HV cable lines from the 400/110 kV Mościska substation, owned by PSE S.A., to the 110/15 kV substation in Łomianki and the 110/15 kV Czosnów substation will make it possible to close this energy ring, referred to as the Czosnów node.
Aside from voice communication, LTE technology provides the broadband connectivity that is indispensable nowadays. State-of-the-art LTE450 connectivity will increase the security of the electricity grid and reduce the time it takes to locate and repair faults occurring in medium- and low-voltage grids. The LTE450 communications network in development is an integral part of the company's Remote Metering project, within the framework of which modern electricity meters will be installed for all PGE Dystrybucja customers by 2030, enabling remote reading of metering data.
In 2021, a tender procedure for the purchase and deployment of CORE LTE450 core network components was announced.
The subject of the tender is to be completed by the end of 2023, and warranty and maintenance of the network is to be provided by the contractor until August 2033. The LTE450 communications network is one of PGE Group’s most important investments. The LTE technology provides voice broadband communications, which is indispensable in modern times.
The modern LTE450 network and the telecommunications system under construction will support the integration of renewable energy sources, distributed generation and energy storage, as well as ensure reliable dispatcher communication and remote communication with energy meters. PGE Group’s action plan for the coming years sees the implementation and launch of basic services on the LTE450 network by 2025, successive expansion of its coverage, provision of basic communications services, and development of new services dedicated to the power sector. The scope of deployment also provides for work to be carried out outside PGE Group, in particular for other entities in the energy sector. The modern LTE450 network and the telecommunications system under construction will support the integration of renewable energy sources, distributed generation and energy storage, as well as ensure reliable dispatcher communication and remote communication with energy meters.
NEW SHARE ISSUE PGE POLSKA GRUPA ENERGETYCZNA – PROJECT DISTRIBUTION OF THE FUTURE
In the first half of 2022, PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna – the parent company of PGE Dystrybucja – issued new shares (Series E), raising a total of approx. PLN 3.2 billion. The proceeds from the issue will be earmarked for, inter alia, the Distribution of the Future project, which involves:
- increasing the share of underground cable lines,
- accelerating the introduction of smart meters, and
- increasing the efficiency of the process of connecting new customers and energy sources.
Approx. PLN 1.61 billion will be allocated to speed up the implementation of these three initiatives.
Remote metering program
The implementation of the project is mandatory and results from the requirements placed on Distribution System Operators by lawmakers in the amended Energy Law regarding the installation of remote reading meters. Under the Act, remote reading meters should be installed for all end-users throughout Poland by July 2031. In addition, by the end of 2025, all MV/LV substations owned by a Distribution System Operator (DSO) are to be equipped with remote reading (balancing) meters. For PGE Dystrybucja, this means the requirement to meter approx. 6 million end-users by the end of 2030 (which requires the replacement of approx. 750,000 meters per year) and approximately 60,000 MV/LV substations (installation of approx. 20,000 metering devices per year together with the necessary substation reconstruction) by the end of 2025.
The implementation of the Remote Metering project will allow the Company to better manage the electricity system thanks to the data flowing from the meters, which will be aggregated in the Central Metering Data Repository and also transmitted to the Central Energy Market Information System (CSIRE). The positive effects of the investment for customers include: better management of energy consumption, facilitation of supplier switching or the possibility of using a prepaid form of billing.
In May 2022, PGE Dystrybucja announced the first of many procurement procedures for the supply of meters for the Remote Metering project. PGE Dystrybucja plans to start mass installation of remote reading meters from 2023. The company intends to allocate a total of PLN 1.49 billion for the project in 2022-2025, including PLN 0.74 billion from the series E share issue by PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna in the first half of 2022.
The program to increase the share of underground cable lines to 30% in the medium-voltage (MV) network of PGE Dystrybucja consists of the reconstruction of medium-voltage power grids from overhead lines to cable lines, in particular in the locations of those sections of overhead lines where the nuisance and failure impact is the greatest.
PGE Group currently has the longest overhead and cable network in the country – due to the size and low density of the distribution area, the average share of cable networks in the Group’s MV lines is 22%, against a national average of 28% and a European average of around 50%. Increasing the share of cable lines will have a positive impact on reducing grid failure rates. The advantages of cable lines over overhead lines are clear:
The project will bring tangible benefits as regards reducing operating costs and optimising operations:
- minimised lost benefits due to undersupplied energy
- decreased costs incurred for grid operation
- reduced network loss costs
From the customer’s point of view, the project will mean increased security of supply:
- twice the reduction in SAIDI relative to the base investment plan
- ability to meet the increasingly stringent quality regulation requirements imposed by the Energy Regulatory Office
The company intends to allocate a total of PLN 1.22 billion to the project by the end of 2023, including PLN 0.61 billion from the series E share issue by PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna in the first half of 2022.
Increase in the efficiency of connection processes for new consumers and energy sources
The program assumes the modernisation of the grid in order to reduce congestion, increase connection capacities and accelerate connection processes. With the funds raised from the share issue, it will be possible to build an additional 1,100 km of connections and 800 MW of additional connection capacity for RES sources by 2023. From the perspective of the customer and the dynamically growing number of micro-installations, this will mean an additional 18,000 connections and a reduction in the average time to connect a new customer to less than 200 days in 2023 (compared to the previously assumed 257 days).
The company aims to allocate a total of PLN 0.52 billion for the project in 2022-2023, including PLN 0.26 billion from the series E share issue by PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna in the first half of 2022.