Copenhagen, 24 May 2018 – The 5th ‘Good Practice of the Year’ award ceremony was one of the highlights at the Energy Infrastructure Forum today in Copenhagen. The prize is presented annually to outstanding practices that show initiative and innovation when it comes to integrating renewables into the grid in one of three categories: Technology & Design, Communication & Participation and Environmental Protection.
The project WiseGRID by a consortium of 21 partners was chosen as the winner in the Technology and Design category. Jury members found it particularly impressive because of its relevance in today’s energy landscape and its likelihood to provide a set of solutions and technologies to increase the smartness, stability and security of an open, consumer-centric European energy grid. Mr. Álvaro Nofuentes Prieto the Project Coordinator of the WiseGRID project, accepted the award and said: “Only smarter applications can lead a way to decentralised energy system where empowered citizens can be in the center of the renewable energy transition. We are proud that WiseGRID is recognised as a ground-breaking technology towards energy democracy.”
In the category of Communication & Participation, TransnetBW and TenneT received the prize for a set of tools for innovative public participation they developed together for Germany’s largest electricity grid project SuedLink. This grid operators’ approach to communication and engagement based on openness, transparency and active participation caught the special attention of the jury. Dr. Werner Götz, chairman of TransnetBW, stressed that "such a large infrastructure project needs the social 'license to operate'. This can only be maintained through open, active and transparent information and participation of the public.” Paul-Georg Garmer, Senior Manager Public Affairs at TenneT TSO, is very pleased “that the jury rewards our approach and our commitment. We have set standards on which we want to be measured in the future.”
The winner in the category Environmental Protection was the Italian grid operator Terna, who presented a project called “Smart Island – Giglio Archipelago”. Their idea to redevelop an island’s landfill into a green area where renewable energy could be produced, lowering the communities dependence on diesel fuel, convinced the jury because it is a very practical example of a local transition from the old to the new world, enhancing existing land. Jury members were impressed by its focus and environmental commitment. Luigi Michi, Head of Strategy and Development at Terna commented: “We’re particularly proud of this award because our project will give a concrete contribution to Giannutri's environment, significantly reducing the diesel supply’s impact and providing for a more sustainable and less pollutant system. Our project on the island is based on the redevelopment of a deteriorated area achieving 30% energy production from renewable sources and is fully in line with Terna’s sustainability strategy. Our goal is to continue on the path towards decarbonisation promoting innovation and energy solutions aimed at fully engaging with local communities”.
Antonella Battaglini, CEO of the Renewables Grid Initiative, who initiated the award in 2013, congratulated all the winners and encouraged others to follow their great example. “The award praises frontrunners who dare to think out of the box and try out new things – bearing the risk that some ideas might not work out. The fact that we received even more applications this year than in previous editions, shows that the importance of innovation for the energy transition is recognised”, said Antonella Battaglini at the award ceremony.
This year’s diverse jury of experts utilised both their attention to details and expertise in their given fields to select the award winners in each category. In addition, the advisory company MAZARS accompanied the evaluation process for the fifth year in a row.