Europe’s state-of-the-art smart grid project starts officially, includes CEZ Group’s Smart Region

Prague, 23 November 2011 – A project named Grid4EU, aimed at the development of smart grids in the European Union, has been launched officially. It is so far the largest demonstration project in power engineering supported by the European Union. Six European energy companies are taking part in it – including CEZ Group.

The Grid4EU project launching ceremony was held yesterday in Paris, associated with the signing of the 7th Framework Programme Grant Agreement between the European Commission and the French electricity distributor company ERDF, project coordinator.

Grid4EU is an innovative project led by a group of distribution system operators from the Czech Republic (CEZ), France (ERDF), Germany (RWE), Italy (ENEL), Spain (Iberdrola) and Sweden (Vatenfall). Its goal is to implement six large demonstration projects with focus on distribution grids with distributed generation facilities and the active involvement of customers. However, each of the projects has its defined task and will be implemented in a different country and under different conditions. The common denominator of the projects is European-level collaboration in the development of new concepts for modern distribution grids with the aim of pursuing the EU’s energy strategy for 2020. CEZ Group is undertaking the Smart Region Vrchlabi pilot project for the first energy-smart region in the Czech Republic.

“The Grid4EU project significantly aids in the implementation of the energy strategy chosen by the European Union at its beginning and is part of a collection of pilot projects in the EU on the basis of which the future strategy in the area of smart grids will be defined,” says Richard Vidlicka, CEO of CEZ Distribuce.

The Smart Region project

The pilot Smart Region project, undertaken by CEZ Group in Vrchlabi as part of its FUTUR/E/MOTION framework, aims to verify the functionalities of the smart grid concept. The concept involves a distribution grid with an innovated design, which can efficiently integrate the activities of all connected users, centralized and local power generation facilities and consumers, allowing them to play an active role and incorporating new distribution grid functions.

“Participation in Grid4EU is a great opportunity for CEZ Group – we will be the first energy company in the Czech Republic to test a number of state-of-the-art technologies in practice, while getting access to the expertise and experience of our partners abroad,” says Milan Spatenka, Director of the Distribution Development Department, CEZ.

The Smart Region demonstration project also aims to test the crisis mode of distribution grid operation (insular operation). This will involve using local generation facilities and new progressive technologies – in particular smart meters.

CEZ Group collaborates in the pilot Smart Region project with four partners from an international consortium of companies implementing the Grid4EU project, namely ABB CR, Cisco CR, Current Group and Siemens CR. These companies provide CEZ Group with innovative technologies that are necessary for the implementation of smart grids under the pilot project. For news from the project, visit

Information about partners of the Smart Region project


ABB CR will deliver innovative technologies for the distribution grid under the Smart Region project. These are necessary for the implementation of a new approach to energy grid control and management. The technical solution is based on state-of-the-art electronic units allowing a high level of automation for low and high voltages.


Cisco is a worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. They will be designing communication and data architecture, monitoring and IT security for the Smart Region project.

Current Technologies

Current Technologies International is a supplier of real-time distribution grid operation monitoring. The monitoring is based on smart metering, analysis and prediction. Current Technologies is delivering distribution grid operation monitoring equipment and high-speed telecommunication solutions for high and low voltage lines under the Smart Region project.


Siemens has been participating in the creation and development of the smart grid concept that allows smart and efficient management of electricity. Siemens will provide a control system with advanced control and distribution grid functions for the pilot Smart Region project.


Jan Benes, spokesman of CEZ Group

November 2011