Composite posts cut infrastructure management costs
The necessity to upgrade and expand electric power transfer infrastructure is clearing the way for innovative devices for this sector. Challenges faced by DSOs, involving growing domestic consumption of electricity, inevitable development of electromobility and prosumers, together with essential renovations of old, inefficient infrastructure enforce reaching out for facilitators and savings.
DSO’s investments are growing. Expenditures are skyrocketing, particularly in the summer: in addition to rapid weather changes causing huge costly damage to obsolete infrastructure, there are standard overhauls and planned construction of new transmission lines. The challenges which the operators are facing, as unanimously declared by the companies participating in the debate at the 11th European Economic Congress, may speed up their development.
The volume of necessary and current investment projects does, however, require reasonable cost management. Hence, the DSOs are so much interested in network automation solutions and IT innovation. Nevertheless, the industry is more and more boldly reaching out for new composite technologies for their electric power infrastructure – composite posts, in addition to traditional, concrete and steel constructions supporting the transmission lines.
“The necessary upgrade and expansion of the infrastructure is so urgent that operators must act fast. After a few years of implementing composite solutions, distribution system operators have successfully adopted the technology. Composite posts are safer – they are insulators – and light, which reduces costs of transport and installation. This significantly cuts the costs of the investment. We have recently signed another contract with DSOs. The product they choose most often is composite EKO posts for medium and low voltage lines”, says Zbigniew Szkopek, CEO of Energy Composites S.A., Alumast S.A. Capital Group.
Only in 2018 did the total investments of five biggest DSOs amount to 6 billion PLN. Analysts are expecting significant growth of expenditures due to the planned draft of the energy policy and connection of subsequent consumers to the grid, which is a legal obligation of the DSOs. Given the development of technologies of electricity production from renewable sources, the number of small installations will continue to grow.