The Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) has today published the results of its 400 MHz Band Spectrum Award, the majority of which had been reserved for Smart Grids, an efficient utility network system typically using digital automation technology for monitoring, control, and analysis within the supply chain.
ComReg’s award has resulted in the assignment of all 2 × 4 MHz of spectrum on offer to Electricity Supply Board Networks DAC.
The 400 MHz spectrum rights of use were offered in two parts:
- Part A consisted of one 2 x 3 MHz Lot (410 – 413 MHz / 420 – 423 MHz) for the provision of wireless communications for Smart Grids; and
- Part B consisted of ten Lots of 2 × 100 kHz on a technology- and service-neutral basis.
Electricity Supply Board Networks DAC will pay approximately €1,100,000 in total for these spectrum rights of use, comprising €320,000 in upfront spectrum access fees and circa €780,000 in spectrum usage fees which will be paid over the 15 year duration of the licences. The annual fees will be index-linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
ComReg’s award places Ireland at the vanguard of Europe for the release of radio spectrum for Smart Grid, spectrum that will be a key enabler in the reduction of climate emissions, the assignment of which is complementary with Government policy:
- Project Ireland 2040 – National Strategic Outcome 8 of the National Planning Framework promotes a transition to a low carbon energy future and which requires decisions around developing and deploying new technologies such as smart grids;
- The National Mitigation Plan – in which the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) observes that the smart operation of the power system at both transmission and distribution level and energy efficiency will enable maximisation of the existing grid;
- SEAI Smart Grid Roadmap – which states that by 2050, Smart Grids will see an accumulated reduction in energy related emissions by 250 million tonnes.
For further information please see Information Notice 19/99.