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The H2020 Smart5Grid project opens new research pathways for innovations in digitalization of the power grids via 5G communication technology

Smart5Grid Photonewsletter

In April 2024, the conclusion of the Innovation project Smart5Grid (Demonstration of 5G solutions for SMART energy GRIDs of the future), funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program, marked the beginning of exciting new possibilities for the digitalization of the electrical and power grid sector. By leveraging the advancements in wireless communication networks, such as 5G and beyond, Smart5Grid has paved the way for promising avenues for further research and development in this critical area, which ultimately may lead to a more sustainable, affordable, and environmentally friendly energy sector.

The Smart5Grid solutions ranged from advanced cloud native solutions for optimal orchestration of 5G network resources from core to the edge, and to the development, testing and validation in actual operation grid environments of 5G-enabled digital services. These digital services were developed based on an innovative concept, called Network Application, which aims to simplify the complexities of the 5G communication network and make them accessible to software developers. Specifically, the Network Application allows to adjust the 5G network behaviour to the user needs, having the core and user functionality in the same cloud-native package.

One major outcome of the project is the development of an integrated and fully automated platform, the Smart5Grid platform, which includes an Open Service Repository with friendly user interface and a fully automated Verification and Validation (V&V) framework which allows the development, testing and validation of any 3rd party developed Network Application.

During the project, four Smart5Grid Network Applications were developed, integrated, tested and validated both experimentally, using advanced real-time hardware in the loop testbeds, and on the field in four pilots, in Italy, Spain, Greece and Bulgaria, using live operational power grid infrastructures from distribution system operators, renewable parks and transmission grid operators.

The KIOS Center of Excellence research team developed three innovative solutions in the form of Network-Application like services for wide area monitoring, control, and protection of distributed energy resources (DERs) and of large transmission grids. These solutions were integrated and validated as part of the pre-piloting process of the Network Applications serving two out of the four pilots. The KIOS team also released a video showcasing the pre-piloting validation of the innovative Network Applications for DERs and the advanced 5G-enabled digital services for transmission power grids. The video is available at:

The Smart5Grid project partners have developed several tutorial-like videos to showcase the pilots’ demonstrations as well as the Smart5Grid platform. Over 14 scientific papers and articles have been published in international conferences and high-impact journals. The KIOS research team has authored/coauthored most of those publications (11) and has participated in high impact dissemination events such as ENLIT-Europe attended by more than 15000 participants from high profile industry stakeholders, policy makers, researchers, and academics from all over the globe.

Additionally, the consortium ensured a strong presence at trade fairs and exhibitions, including the European Conference on Networks and Communications (EuCNC) and the 6G Summit2023 supported by the European Commission and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). In April 2024, a final closure event was organized in Brussels, where the project partners successfully presented the outcomes of the project to a panel of external reviewers.

A video presenting the outcomes of the Smart5Grid project is available here: