How well is the digital transformation progressing inside the energy industry?
One sign of progress is that the new deals that are being announced are addressing the means by which practical problems can be solved. So, too, with the new alliances that are being formed.
One notable example: Orange Business Services is helping Enedis, a leading European energy supplier, with its transition to a smart power network for electricity distribution.
Once completed, Orange’s Wide Area Network (WAN) will connect hundreds of thousands of sensors in Enedis’ electricity network, along with over 3,000 of its industrial sites. Enedis will then manage energy production, regulate global and local consumption, and do predictive maintenance on the entirety of their power network.
Enedis decided that it wants to accelerate its industrial transformation strategy in order to develop a smarter power network. It decided to team with Orange on multiple tasks:
- More than 3,000 industrial and tertiary sites are to be connected over IP.
- Hundreds of thousands of industrial objects are to be connected by 2026 to make power networks smarter and facilitate energy transition.
- Resilient and secure solutions will be deployed to meet smart grid challenges and find new uses for the grid.
Enedis’ energy transition is characterized by the growth of fluctuating and decentralized energy production (wind and sun) and the rise of new uses, such as self-consumption and electric vehicle charging. In this context, equipping the power network with cutting-edge IT and digital technologies is essential to manage the increasing complexity of the power system.
Enedis’ aim is to create a more effective electricity distribution network thanks to data.
The mandate from Enedis to Orange is to connect hundreds of thousands of communicating objects spread across the electricity distribution network in France, along with over 3,000 industrial sites. When completed, these new capabilities enables Enedis to develop energy flow data collection, real-time surveillance of electricity substations, automated self-healing in the event of faults and remote management capacities (maintenance and operation) for the whole network.
These solutions can help guarantee a balance between energy production and consumption, at a global and local scale, which is seen by Enedis as a critical challenge with the development of renewable energy.
Orange is being asked by Enedis to use its expertise to integrate and manage dedicated secure management infrastructure. Orange will operate, maintain and monitor the whole Enedis WAN that will connect its industrial and tertiary sites. It combines the best of Orange Business Services fixed and mobile infrastructure, with reinforced availability to meet Enedis’ needs. Network partitioning and 24/7 support from a team of Orange Cyberdefense experts will strengthen the system’s security.
Enedis needed its IT network to be a true technological platform to support the ongoing development of new digital uses and offer its employees adapted ways of working.
The WAN will enable Enedis to carry out predictive maintenance across its entire power network by using the data from sensors deployed at the industrial sites. It will also offer the technicians a real mobile office by giving them access to their work environment (operating and collaboration tools) via Wi-Fi directly from these sites.
“The Enedis project is a concrete illustration of the major change affecting the digital transformation of companies, which is being enriched by data to create more value and new uses. We are proud to help Enedis modernize its energy distribution networks, which are becoming more efficient and more environmentally friendly, and pave the way for smarter territories,” says Helmut Reisinger, CEO of Orange Business Services.
“The development of smart power networks is a major priority for Enedis. More than a contract with Orange Business Services, it’s an industrial partnership. It allows us to reinforce and secure our industrial strategy to deploy smart grid technology at the service of the energy transition and to contribute to the digital transformation of our industry,” adds Philippe Monloubou, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Enedis.
Enedis is a public company that manages the electricity distribution network and employs 38,000 people. Servicing 35 million customers, it develops, operates, and modernises 1.4 million km of medium and low voltage power lines (220 and 20,000 Volts) and handles the related data. Enedis provides client connections, a 24/7 breakdown service, and carries out meter readings and all other technical operations. It is unconnected with the energy suppliers who sell power and manage electricity supply contracts.