Published in April 2018
Antonio Gómez-Expósito, Angel Arcos-Vargas, José M. Maza-Ortega, José A. Rosendo-Macías, Gabriel Alvarez-Cordero, Susana Carillo-Aparicio, Juan González-Lara, Daniel Morales-Wagner, and Tomás González-García
Efficient, resilient, and sustainable electricity delivery is a key cornerstone in increasingly large and complex urban environments, where citizens expect to keep or rise their living standards. In this context, cost-effective and ubiquitous digital technologies are driving the transformation of existing electrical infrastructures into truly smart systems capable of better providing the services a low-carbon society is demanding. The goal of this paper is twofold: 1) to review the dramatically evolving landscape of power systems, from the old framework based on centralized generation and control, aimed at serving inelastic customers through alternating current (ac) transmission networks and one-way distribution feeders, to a new paradigm centered mainly around two main axes: renewable generation, both centralized and distributed, and active customers (prosumers), interacting with each other through hybrid ac/dc smart grids; 2) to illustrate, through featured success stories, how several smart grid concepts and technologies have been put into practice in Spain over the last few years to optimize the performance of urban electrical assets.