POWERGRID Europe Takes Root in Madrid

Three key elements of power-from production to delivery-will be offered to every attendee at POWERGRID Europe June 26-28 in Madrid, Spain. Attendees can trace the process of power from spark to end element, all without leaving the building.

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This marks the inaugural year of POWERGRID Europe. Co-located alongside Renewable Energy Europe and POWER-GEN Europe, the shows together bring three formerly separated areas of power conveniently into one place.

Attendees can wander from a session on carbon emissions to a look at transformers on the grid to an insight into the future of renewables across Europe. And, they don’t have to fly all over Europe to do so. Just a quick stop in Madrid will give them everything they need: conventional power generation, renewable power generation, and transmission and distribution-even tips on how to connect them all together.

POWERGRID Europe aims to be the primary forum where European utility professionals can come together and examine, in-depth, the challenges facing the transmission and distribution arms of the power industry.

Worried about the upcoming deadlines for liberalization? Curious about new technologies that can make the grid faster, smarter, easier to use? Looking ahead to the best ways to manage your assets? POWERGRID Europe is the place to be.

Europe’s Looking Ahead

With the goal of a single unified energy market, there are many changes facing the electric utility sector in Europe. POWER-GRID Europe enables utility professionals to come together and learn more about all of those upcoming challenges facing the transmission and distribution industry-as well as providing useful and practical information to take back and put into use.

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Other shows might give attendees a nice overview of how new transformer technology can help the industry, but we’ll reveal that and so much more: how to budget for it, where to buy it, and how to hook it into the system and fix it when there’s a problem.

Speakers from around the world are converging on Madrid to give attendees all the insight one could need on what’s coming for those utility professionals who deal with the power grid. With specific focus on practical information, POWERGRID Europe offers special sessions on immediate issues like IEC 61850 compliance and the intricacies of how to plug that new wind farm to the grid. At POWERGRID Europe, attendees will get enough information to put their companies ahead of the T&D evolution.

What Sessions are Offered

Our first session, “Interconnections & Blackouts I,” gathers experts from around the world to examine blackout prevention and interconnection issues in this first installment of our expansive two-part mega-session which bookends this inaugural conference. This session will feature a look at the Thailand power grid, dynamic security assessment, stability monitoring in Bosnia & Herzegovina, real-time transmission networks & markets, and a glimpse at the interconnections in Europe and Turkey.

The “Power Electronics” session will focus on HVDC and FACTS technologies. This talk will give a few technical glimpses into how to make your network more reliable. Experts with hands-on knowledge will be available for questions and edification of various systems and inner workings.

“AMR and Power Quality” will look at how a North American AMI system can work in Europe, as well as giving insights into the areas of smart metering, technical and organization issues with AMR deployment, and quality targets.

Unusual and innovative angles on the European power grid dominate the “Trends and Innovations” session. From how to use a traffic tunnel for power transmission to GIS web applications in Crete, the attendee will be up-to-date on the newest, cutting-edge ideas for transmission and distribution in Europe.

Get the nuts and bolts, ins and outs on the “IEC 61850″ standard at its specific session. The speakers will look at network architecture in integrated substations as well as the linking of those substations to control centers and the challenges and opportunities such links present to utilities.

Managing a utility’s T&D assets is one of the most important topics in the industry today. So, we have added an “Asset Management” session to our conference. This session will examine a number of aspects in the area, including reliability-centered management, online condition monitoring, maintenance by sampling, and investing in the life cycle.

Additionally, POWERGRID Europe, in conjunction with Renewable Energy Europe, offers a combined session, “Connecting Wind and DG to the Grid.” In it, attendees will examine the practicality of linking distributed generation and renewable energy to the power grid. The challenges in overcoming the connection gap in this area will be dissected and solutions presented.

We wrap up our conference with “Interconnections & Blackouts II,” the second installment of our expansive two-part mega-session which bookends this inaugural conference. This session will feature a look at the Mediterranean Power Pool, the right tools for blackout prevention, dealing with market energy imbalances, wide area measurement systems and reactive power on the European network.

For a complete details on conference sessions, speakers and times, visit www.powergrideurope.com. There you can also find information about POWERGRID Europe exhibitors, as well as links to the two co-located trade shows, POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy Europe.

Take a Stroll through the Exhibit Floor

With the industry on the threshold of change, POWERGRID Europe represents an ideal opportunity to meet leading product suppliers and the top level of technical and strategic decision-makers.

From an exhibit floor with competing technologies to sessions on putting those technologies into practice, POWERGRID Europe offers insider knowledge of the power market from the UK to Spain to Greece to Poland. POWERGRID Europe’s comprehensive conference program provides an opportunity for high-level decision-makers, middle managers, and the engineer to learn about strategies and new technologies, but the exhibit floor presents additional opportunities to network with their market influencers, share knowledge and experiences, and perhaps swap a good trade secret or two. You can talk with CESI, GarrettCom Europe, Red Electrica, Schneider Electric and UT Innovation, just to name a few. Additionally, an attendee’s pass will get you into POWER-GEN Europe’s exhibit floor as well as Renewable Energy Europe’s exhibit floor. You can spend days collecting useful information (and company giveaways that light up, bounce or beep).

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With access to not only POWERGRID Europe but also POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy Europe, visitors have the widest possible range of blue-chip power professionals under one roof-a chance to talk to the power industry as a whole and take home a cohesive overview of emergent technologies and solutions.

This is an opportunity rarely offered. Where else could an attendee take an insider tour of a power plant and also talk to an engineer about substation relays? Where else could an attendee cross over to take in a session about distributed generation and then return to hear an in-house session on grid-related power electronics? Only with the triple-package offered with a ticket to POWERGRID Europe. We hope to see you in Madrid.

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David Alvira, Studies Engineer, RED ELàƒâ€°CTRICA DE ESPAàƒ‘A

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Richard M. Charnah, Technology Director Areva T&D

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Clemens Hoga, Innovation & Technology Manager, Siemens PTD Energy Automation

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Eric Lambert, Project Manager, EDF R&D

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Juan Marti Rodriguez, Control Systems, Iberdrola Distribucion S.A.U.

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Thales M. Papazoglou, Director ESPL, TEIC

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Claes Rytoft, Senor Vice President, ABB Power System

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Vitor Tomas, Engineer, EDP Energy of Portugal/ Distribution

Visit Sunny Spain

While attending the POWERGRID Europe conference, you’ll want to check out the lovely host city, Madrid. The capital of the country and its largest city, Madrid is also in the top three of Europe’s populous cities, behind London and Berlin. It’s easy to get magnificently lost in this ancient town that traces its lineage back to Roman occupation and beyond.


Located on the Manzanares river, Madrid is full of impressive historic landmarks like the Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid) and the Teatro Real (Royal Theatre).

Palacio Real de Madrid: The palace is the official residence of the King of Spain, Juan Carlos. However, the royal family does not actually live here. The Palacio Real de Madrid is only used for state occasions. When it’s not set for queens and dignitaries, it’s open for public viewing.

  • Price: Around 9à¢â€š¬; the armory costs extra.
  • Hours: 9-6 Mon.-Sat., 9-3 Sun.
  • More information: www.patrimonionacional.es

Teatro Real: Locals call it simply The Real. This opera house is directly across from the Palacio. Verdi’s Il Trovatore plays June 26 and 29 at The Real.

  • Price: 4à¢â€š¬ for a guided tour; 2à¢â€š¬ for a “quick visit.”
  • Hours: Tours run every half hour between 10:30 and 1:00 Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri.
  • More information www.teatro-real.com


If art is your weakness, check out the “Golden Triangle” on Paseo del Prado. It houses three of Europe’s best art museums: the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, and the Reina Sofia Museum.

Prado Museum: Great for a tour of 14th-19th Century masters. Besides a lot of Velàƒ¡zquez and Goya, the Prado has a plethora of Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, as well as El Greco, Rubens, Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, and Caravaggio.

  • Price: 6à¢â€š¬, discounts for EU citizens, students and seniors available.
  • Hours: 9-8 Tues. to Sun.
  • More information: www.museoprado.mcu.es

Thyssen Bornemisza Museum: The Thyssen-Bornemisza includes fine examples of Italian primitives and works from the English, Dutch and German schools-as well as impressionists, expressionists, and European and American paintings from the second half of the 20th century.

  • Price: 6à¢â€š¬, discounts for EU citizens, students and seniors available.
  • Hours: 10-7 Tues. to Sun.
  • More information: www.museothyssen.org

Reina Sofia Museum: Often called The Sofia, it’s the place for 20th Century art. It opened in 1992 and is named for Queen Sofia. Picasso and Dalàƒ­ reign here, but you can also find works by Gris, Miràƒ³, Gonzàƒ¡lez, Chillida, Palazuelo, Gordillo, Oteiza, and Solana.

  • Price: 6à¢â€š¬, discounts for EU citizens, students and seniors available.
  • Hours: 10-9 Mon. to Sun.
  • More information: www.museoreinasofia.es


Madrid also offers numerous opportunities to be a cultural spectator. You can take in a concert with the Spanish National Orchestra, a bullfight at Las Ventas, or a futbàƒ³l game at Estadio Santiago Bernabàƒ©u, the home of internationally acclaimed soccer team Real Madrid.

Spanish National Orchestra: Founded in 1940, Orquesta Nacional de Espaàƒ±a is the largest symphonic orchestra in Madrid. They perform most Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at the Auditorio Nacional de Musica.

Las Ventas: Situated in Guindalera in the district of Salamanca, it was inaugurated in 1931 and is considered the home of bullfighting in Spain, if not the world. The bullfighting season starts in March and ends in December with fights every Sunday during the season. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the fight from 10 a.m. to the performance from the ticket booths (taquillas) located at the plaza, although these may sell out in advance if a famous torero is performing. The taquillas are open on the Friday and Saturday before the fight, as well. Prices range from 3à¢â€š¬ to 100à¢â€š¬, depending on seating.

Estadio Santiago Bernabàƒ©u: The Santiago Bernabàƒ©u is the home of Real Madrid. Work on the grounds started on October 27, 1944. Real Madrid officially adopted the present stadium name, Estadio Santiago Bernabàƒ©u, on January 4, 1955 in honor of the club president Santiago Bernabàƒ©u. You can tour the stadium on non-match days for 14à¢â€š¬, or, if you’re on a budget, just pop into the cafe at the stadium and eat with a view of the interior, getting yourself a nice lunch and a nice view for one low price.

Spotlight on our Committee: Juan Marti Rodriguez

POWERGRID Europe committee member Juan Marti Rodriguez talked with UAE about T&D in Europe and how the liberalization and unification could impact his job and his company.

UAE: How will general European T&D unification impact your area of the company?

Rodriguez: With the 1997 deregulation in Spain, utilities long ago started the unification of these two activities. Before, as many others, they had a hierarchical organization, while now they have moved to geographically oriented ones-less centralized but more dynamic. In these years the impact has been very important. Companies have increased their efficiency by concentrating operational and maintenance activities formerly separated. This experience probably could describe the impact on those companies which haven’t started the process yet, but REE (the Spanish ISO) has gradually been acquiring transmission assets in the last few years. So, utility companies are more and more concentrated in distribution.

UAE: What areas-cyber security, SCADA, etc.-will see the most activity in Europe in the next five years?

Rodriguez: From my Spanish experience in distribution, I think automation will be the main topic for the next five years. Difficulties on building new infrastructures, social pressure for increasing quality of service, and liberalization pushing prices down will create, in utilities, strong needs for higher automation, massive communications, and intelligent metering that, today, has not been solved.

UAE: How do you see transmission and distribution infrastructures evolving in Europe?

Rodriguez:Apart from the already mentioned needs for automation, the price of the square metre in continuously growing cities and the per capita consumption also rising will require infrastructures smaller in size but bigger in capacity: GIS (gas-insulated) technology, underground high capacity cables etc. Also, the pressure for environmental issues and the prices of primary energy sources will boost the distributed generation and all connected technology.

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