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Siemens contributes to EPAL's energy neutrality

  • Siemens contributes to EPAL's energy neutrality
  • The project includes a new water, energy and emissions control center, as well as advanced telemetry solutions.
  • These solutions will be implemented into the main infrastructures of both EPAL and Águas Vale do Tejo, which supply about 33% of the Portuguese population.
  • Water consumption will be more accurately measured and reported in real-time, allowing for more efficient management.

About the entity

For the water industry Siemens provides comprehensive solutions from a single source: from process instrumentation, industrial communication, and power supply systems to drive technology as well as automation and process control technology.

Following an international public tender, Siemens Portugal signed a contract with Empresa Portuguesa das Águas Livres (EPAL) for the installation of a water, energy and greenhouse gases emission monitoring control center, the only one in the country, which includes the implementation of advanced telemetry solutions that will help EPAL, which supplies Lisbon and its greater metropolitan area, achieve the goal of energy neutrality in its operations.

The telemetry, industrial communication and water and energy measurement solutions by Siemens will be installed in 188 of the main water collection, supply and treatment infrastructures of EPAL and Águas do Vale do Tejo in Portugal. They represent about 80% of the installed capacity and energy consumption of these two companies. The project covers the districts of Lisbon, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Portalegre, Santarém and Évora, i.e. a third of the continental territory, which in turn equals about 33% of the national population or 3.5 million people.

The project includes the installation of a control center for water and energy management and monitoring of greenhouse gases emissions, which will allow water and energy consumption to be measured more accurately and in real time. Additionally, it will allow for more efficient management of these infrastructures, maximizing the use of EPAL's own renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic plants, mini-hydro plants and wind farms. By maximizing the use of its own renewable energy resources, EPAL will boost its energy resilience in periods of grid unavailability, and also enhances the sustainability of its operations by reducing greenhouse gases emissions.

EPAL will boost its energy resilience in periods of grid unavailability, and also enhances the sustainability of its operations by reducing greenhouse gases emissions

"This is a very important project in terms of resilience, macroeconomics and national competitiveness, because it prevents that the country is subject to the whims of the global energy markets which, in turn, are subject to political issues and wars in various regions. These are factors that, naturally, Portugal cannot control and, consequently, suffers the consequences." As for the new private power grid, EPAL's CEO, José Sardinha, noted that "it will be an underground grid, which was not designed this way by mere chance. We did this to maximize resilience – so many things can happen, such as floods, fires, and other events. This way, our grid is completely protected and insulated from extreme phenomena/events. As well as to minimize all environmental impacts associated with a surface grid. In short, more euros, more safety, less CO2."

Within the scope of this project, Siemens, by way of Digital Industries, will be responsible for all engineering, planning, installation, and commissioning of the telemetry, water and energy measurement, and redundant industrial communication solutions. Siemens will also develop customized software for EPAL's control center, including data visualization and data analytics modules that will optimize infrastructure management. By processing data intelligently, the software developed by Siemens will enable faster, more efficient and safer management and decision-making, and will help EPAL and Águas do Vale do Tejo provide an even more reliable service to their customers.

Luís Bastos, Head of Digital Industries at Siemens Portugal, stated that "we are pleased to be part of this project, which is enormously relevant to the national water industry, a fundamental element in all our lives, and to support EPAL in achieving its goals towards energy neutrality by optimizing both efficient management and remote control of its assets. We are very proud to contribute with our best know-how, so that Portugal will have the first fully self-sustainable company and Water Treatment Plant in the world". Adding "this ambitious project is yet another example of how we can partner with Portuguese companies in their digital and environmental transformation journeys".

The scope for which Siemens is responsible is part of 'Programa EPAL 0%', which aims to achieve energy neutrality in all operations by 2025, by way of an integrated mix of technological solutions: energy efficiency actions, production of own energy from renewable sources by installing hydroelectric, wind, and photovoltaic power plants, micro-grids, digitalization, and storage operations in water reservoirs.

The contract awarded to Siemens is worth 3,249,875.00 million euro. The project is scheduled for completion in the first months of 2024.

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