‘Good Practice of the Year’ award winners celebrated at ‘Energy Infrastructure Forum’ – RTE’s MOOC, nuventura and the world’s first hybrid interconnector by 50Hertz and Energinet take home the prizes

The Renewables Grid Initiative (RGI) is proud to announce the winners of this year’s ‘Good Practice of the Year’ award. Three outstanding practices were crowned at the ‘Energy Infrastructure Forum’ in Copenhagen today, with Deputy Director-General for Energy, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt handing out the trophies in all categories: ‘Communication & Engagement’, ‘Environmental Protection’ and ‘Technological Innovation & System Integration’. Read all about our winning practices below.

Communication & Engagement

RTE France developed a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on electromagnetic fields (EMF) caused by power frequency. Our jury of experts picked it as the winner of its category because "there is a great need for this type of community education and this project answers this need - the MOOC is an efficient, low-cost yet effective instrument targeting misperceptions about the impact of electromagnetic fields."

"RTE is very pleased and honoured that the MOOC on EMFs was granted the RGI Award 2019 in the 'Communication & Engagement' category", RTE's Deputy CEO Hervé Laffaye says. "Citizens are often concerned about EMFs emitted by power lines. With the full support of the French authorities, we have developed this MOOC including all the existing scientific knowledge on EMF. Support and collaborations with authorities is essential to address the concerns of citizens and speed up the development of needed grid infrastructure for the energy transition. Sharing knowledge and good practices across borders is also essential to learn from each other. We thank RGI for organising such an outstanding award and for stimulating learning."

Environmental Protection

nuventura developed an alternative insulation system for switchgears in which the commonly used SF6, one of the most potent greenhouse gases, is replaced by dry air. This means that the climate performance of switchgears, a vital part of electrical infrastructure used to connect and disconnect electrical equipment, can be massively improved in the future. "This project has the potential to be enormously impactful, greatly reducing the amounts of the most powerful greenhouse gas in the world in circulation and release. This is a major contribution to the fight against climate change", our jury explains nuventura's win.

"For us to win the 'Good Practice of the Year' award means that we are not alone in our fight against SF6", Ira Garbuz, Head of Communications at nuventura, explains.

Technological Innovation & System Integration

The 'Kriegers Flak - Combined Grid Solution' (KF CGS) is the world's first hybrid interconnector, connecting Germany and Denmark utilising the infrastructure of existing wind farms. Our jury congratulates 50Hertz and Energinet on their joint project and is happy to announce KF CGS as the category winner: "It has the potential to be enormously consequential for the development of the North Sea and Baltic Sea resources, and its ambition of approaching 100% utilisation of the offshore grid assets is very noteworthy."

Energinet's KF CGS project leader Per Obbekær stresses the project's importance with regard to our climate, saying: "We need to push all the known technologies - and constantly focus on being innovative in our approach to new technologies in order for us to reach our climate goals cross borders. This project is a good example of that approach. We are thankful for this prize and thankful for the EU appointing our project 'a project of common interest' - because that is exactly what it is."

His project lead counterpart from 50Hertz, Elke Kwapis, concurs, adding that: "Kriegers Flak - Combined Grid Solution is the first off-shore hybrid interconnector that allows integrating high shares of renewables and at the same time maximising the use of existing infrastructure for offshore wind grid connection. The cross-border approach also proved to be a success story in the collaborative manner amongst all project team members from 50Hertz and Energinet. That way they gained new experiences that will help to realise the big scale projects of the future utilising the know-how generated by KF CGS."

Inspiration for new ideas on how to implement an electricity system based on renewables is very needed. "We at RGI do not simply want to bet on new approaches breaking through at the right time, we want to play an active part in creating sources of inspiration", RGI's CEO Antonella Battaglini says. "The 'Good Practice of the Year' award is one such source of inspiration meant to motivate and spur on players engaged in grid development to do more and to do better - when it comes to engagement processes, environmental protection and system innovation."

RGI would like to thank everyone who submitted the diverse and innovative practices that were part of the competition this year and extend a sincere congratulations to the winners. Find out about all of our jury's favourite practices in our award brochure. Our thanks also go to our outstanding jury of experts, the international auditing and advisory company MAZARS for accompanying the evaluation process for the sixth year in a row and the European Commission's DG Energy for hosting the award ceremony at the 'Energy Infrastructure Forum' in Copenhagen.

Stephanie Bätjer
Director - Communication

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