R&D projects were undertaken in both of the main areas of business in 2016, i.e. electricity and gas. This work was carried out at REN Group companies working in the transmission of electricity and gas, Portugal - Rede Elétrica Nacional, S.A and REN Gasodutos, S.A.

Fully aware of the of our active role in the innovation and technological development of our industry, which is inherent to our work and the current and future challenges the energy sector faces, REN undertakes R&D both internally as well as in cooperation with counterpart organizations and academic institutions.

Of note is the work done by the R&D NESTER research centre[3] in four R&D projects which focus on the following areas: Renewable Energy Management; Power System Simulation; Smart Grid Technology; Management and Operation of Networks; Energy Economy and Markets. All of these areas saw significant advances in 2016.


R&D work at REN has seen an increase in the sharing of knowledge and learning processes through projects which cover all REN Group companies, thus maximizing synergies in the electricity and gas sectors. An example of this are the R&D projects used in REN applications to the SIFIDE programme[4], for the financial year of 2015.

Internal R&D Projects

At the Electricity Business Unit, R&D projects focused on the performance of RNT lines and the respective impact on quality of service:

• Performance of operational RNT lines during atmospheric discharges - project undertaken in partnership with Labelec. The aim of this project is to study the relevant factors influencing atmospheric discharges to determine the concentrated areas of network most sensitive to lightning. Once identified, the project intends to seek possible solutions to minimize impact on quality of service.

At the gas business unit, R&D projects have focused on the energy efficiency of underground gas storage facilities:

•A substantial improvement in the energy efficiency of underground gas storage facilities - The goal of this project is to research and simulate the technical feasibility of a new concept on a global scale, Compressed Gas Energy Storage (CGES). It will assess its potential with respect to improving energy efficiency in underground gas withdrawal processes.

•Dynamic solution for the analysis of odorant content - Development of a new methodology to determine the level of Tetrahydrothiophene (THT), through the practical application of algorithms which allow the THT content to be calculated at individual network points (in line with gas flows). This enables significant levels of efficiency to be achieved in the odorization process as well as lower sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions.

In partnership with R&D Nester, REN is collaborating in four R&D projects, which are described in greater detail later in this report. They include:

•Renewable energy dispatch;

•Substation of the future;

•Energy storage;

•Simulation, planning and operation of electrical power networks.

R&D projects in partnership with other international organizations

Highlights of European projects in which REN participates include EUPORIAS (2012-2017) - European provision of regional impacts assessments on seasonal and decadal timescales. This is a project funded by the 7th European Framework Programme (FP7), coordinated by the MET OFFICE (UK) and involves 24 participants including REN as a stakeholder.

The aim of this project is to explore the value of seasonal meteorological forecasts on a decadal timescale in Europe. Through access to this information, the project seeks to develop methodologies to use these forecasts, applying them in different key sectors of the national economy which are clearly exposed to weather phenomena, although with different levels of sensitivity.



For R&D Nester, 2016 saw the consolidation of the strategic development plan set out at the time this R&D centre was founded. Of note were the significant advances made in the four R&D started internally in 2013. The results of these projects have been recognized by the technical-scientific community. Highlights include:

•Publication of papers and articles in scientific magazines;

•Presentations at several national and international conferences;

•The submission of three provisional requests for patents;

•The practical application of some results;

•The setting up of a laboratory - Real Time Power Systems Simulation Laboratory.

This and further additional information on R&D Nester work can be seen at


ISSWINDEMO - Integrated Supporting Services for the Wind Power Industry Demonstrator - Demonstration project funded by the ESA (European Space Agency), started in March 2016 and extending over two years.

As part of continued work on the ISSWIND project, the 1st part - feasibility study - has now been concluded.

The aim is to explore aerospace technology for Earth observation and a global navigation satellite system with a view to developing commercially viable support services for the wind energy industry. Bearing in mind the different requirements of stakeholders in this industry, including electricity TSOs, the ISSWINDEMO demonstration project seeks to provide an integrated solution with four services: 1. Wind resource maps; 2. Wind and wave hindcast databases; Service 3. Weather and ocean forecasting; 4. Wind power forecasting

R&D Nester's contribution as a partner in this demonstration project is principally to provide commercial and technological innovation drivers for an integrated ISSWIND solution. A key underlying characteristic of ISSWIND services is the assimilation of data produced by Earth observation satellites and the global navigation satellite system to improve the quality of service. In other words, coverage of offshore areas and weather forecasting error and forecasts on the production of energy to feed the system.


The potential benefits for REN relate to the possible improvement in forecasts for renewable resources and the consequent optimizing of REN operations and management, such as the minimizing of risks.

SusCity: Urban system modelling to promote creative and resourceful transition, a Collaborative Project funded by the Portuguese Science and Technology Foundation - FCT (via MIT- Portugal) and a group of private organizations. This project started in January 2015 and is expected to last three years.

The goal is to catalyse the generation and proliferation of scalable urban interventions through the development and deployment of a multi-dimensional Urban systems Simulator and Dashboard (USD). While the visualization and communication of data is essential, urban models will provide the ability to envision alternative scenarios and new services and products, founded on rigorous urban science. The team proposes to couple a multi-dimensional simulation with physical urban modelling and data collection machine to serve these objectives.


Potential benefits to REN include better understanding of the implications of Smart City concepts in network management, thus allowing improved preparation for future scenarios.

SmartNet (H2020-LCE-06-2015) - SmartNet - Smart TSO-DSO interaction schemes, market architectures and ICT solutions for the integration of ancillary services from demand-side management and distributed generation.

This project is funded by the Horizon 2020 European framework programme, coordinated by the RSE and has 22 partners (from the world of academia, industry and R&D organizations) from nine European countries. The project started in 2016 and will last three years. R&D Nester sits on the Advisory Board.

The SmartNet project aims to provide optimised instruments and modalities to improve the coordination between the grid operators at national and local level (respectively the TSOs and DSOs) and the exchange of information for monitoring and for the acquisition of ancillary services (reserve and balancing, voltage balancing control, congestion management) from subjects located in the distribution segment (flexible load and distributed generation).


BigDataOcean - Project approved in 2016 under the Horizon 2020 European framework programme. R&D Nester is a consortium member along with both academic and industrial entities from Greece, the UK, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Israel.

This project is to start in 2017 and will last 30 months. The main objective is to enable maritime big data scenarios for EU-based companies, organisations and scientists, through a multi-segment platform, against a backdrop of ocean resources.

This platform will combine data of different variety, volume and origins under an inter-linked, trusted, multilingual engine to produce a big-data repository of value and veracity back to the participants and local communities.

R&D Nester's contribution is to focus on the energy-related topics and applications provided for in the project.



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