ESB Networks welcomes award of radio spectrum licence by ComReg

  • Licence will facilitate the transformation to a low carbon electricity system through smart technologies
  • Move will help ESB Networks to deliver a more secure, reliable and sustainable electricity network

6 November 2019

ESB Networks is pleased to announce its success in acquiring a radio spectrum licence from the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg).

This  2 x 4 MHz radio spectrum licence will help ESB Networks to develop the electricity distribution network of the future using smart technologies to facilitate the transformation to a low carbon electricity system.

Pat Eccles, Information Systems and Telecoms Senior Manager at ESB Networks says: “ESB Networks has a key role in enabling the transition to a low carbon society, which will see electricity powering our cars and heating systems into the future. Advanced telecommunications networks and smart grid technologies will help facilitate the increase in demand for clean electricity, enabling ESB Networks to manage and optimise energy use on the grid.

“ESB Networks welcomes ComReg’s decision to reserve radio spectrum for Smart Grid. It provides for development of the smart technologies that will underpin a more secure, more reliable and more sustainable electricity network for each of the 2.3 million customers we serve.”

A dedicated Smart Grid telecoms network forms part of ESB Networks Innovation Strategy that aims to bring many benefits to Ireland from an environmental, economic and customer perspective; including:

  • Decarbonisation of the electricity system
  • Enhanced control and visibility of the electrical network
  • Supporting the increased connection of renewable energy on the electricity network
  • Enabling the electrification of heat and transport
  • Facilitating flexibility on the network
  • Faster fault resolution providing a reduction in outage durations

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Note to the Editor
ESB Networks is the licensed operator of the electricity distribution system in the Republic of Ireland. ESB Networks is responsible for building, operating, maintaining and developing the electricity network and serving all electricity customers in the Republic of Ireland.

The electricity distribution network includes all distribution stations, overhead electricity lines, poles and underground cables used to bring power to more than 2 million domestic, commercial and industrial customers connected to the electricity network nationwide. ESB Networks also maintains the high voltage transmission network in Ireland on behalf of the Transmission System Operator (TSO) EirGrid.

ESB Networks’ existing telecoms infrastructure is fully managed and maintained by ESB Networks Telecoms. ESB Networks Telecoms supports connectivity to primary substations down to 38kV substations.

Secure telecommunications are vital to the safe and efficient operation of the grid. The electricity network depends heavily on having high quality and high availability communications infrastructure ESB Networks deploys and operates extensive fixed and wireless telecommunications infrastructure to provide ESB Networks and EirGrid with necessary real time information for operational purposes (i.e. to control and monitor the distribution and transmission networks).

Radio spectrum is a hugely important natural resource, enabling both critical and non-critical services to be deployed and made available for all citizens. It is a key enabler for the provision of wireless services which in turn generates significant economic, technological, social, environmental and safety benefits.

ESB Networks’ telecommunications network requires connectivity in a significant number of locations throughout the country. A significant proportion of ESB Networks’ telecommunications network relies solely on wireless for several reasons, including situations where it is technically difficult to use cables to connect devices to the network, or where it is not economically feasible. Radio spectrum is a fundamental component of ESB Networks’ existing safe and resilient narrowband network.

For more information on ESB Networks’ innovation activities and to view the ESB Networks Innovation Strategy, please visit www.esbnetworks.ie/innovation