Sustainability and co-innovation: Shared passions of Enel and Cisco CDA


This weblog was co-authored by Sophia Filipe, Nation Digitization Program Supervisor, throughout the Cisco Nation Digital Acceleration (CDA) program. That is the second in a sequence of blogs on CDA Sustainability Tasks that go behind the scenes of the sustainability initiatives we’re engaged in, and the affect we’re having by way of Cisco’s CDA program.

Enel Group, a worldwide Italian energy utility, have continuously embraced new applied sciences to make vitality extra dependable, extra inexpensive, and extra sustainable, from the introduction of the primary sensible meter to turning into the world’s largest producer of renewable vitality. By means of a Cisco CDA funding, Cisco has partnered with Enel to co-innovate on digital options and help vitality decarbonization, digitization and decentralization.

Innovation and sustainability are of nice significance to each corporations, and Enel and Cisco are desperate to collaborate on digitizing vital infrastructure and help progress in the direction of international internet zero greenhouse gasoline (GHG) emissions ambitions.

We sat down with members of Cisco’s Enel staff, Giovanni Colombo, programs architect, and Federica Ingrao, account supervisor, to listen to their perspective on sustainability and the outcomes this distinctive partnership can drive.

It’s vital to handle local weather change now. Why is it necessary to Enel and to you?

Federica: My private dedication to sustainability goes again to rising up in Sicily, Italy. The ecology and historical past of Sicily is strongly related to sustainability. Its tradition and financial system have a deep connection to nature. For me, it is very important work for a corporation that values the atmosphere. Sustainability is an integral a part of Cisco´s function to Energy an Inclusive Future for All, and this makes me really feel that I’m contributing to those efforts as effectively.

Giovanni: I believe daily about our skill to help a wholesome planet for all. That’s the reason we’re striving to align Cisco and buyer’s targets. With the co-innovation program we now have in place with Enel, we’re supporting this alignment. Enel is without doubt one of the world’s largest energy utilities in vitality era, distribution and provide, and primary on the planet for put in capability of renewable vitality. Working collectively, we will contribute to guard pure assets, speed up the renewable vitality transition, and assist reverse the affect of local weather change.

How is Cisco co-innovating with Enel, and why does this matter?

Giovanni: Whereas Cisco and Enel have labored collectively for a few years, we expanded the connection in 2017 by signing a co-innovation settlement.  Beneath that settlement, Cisco turned Enel’s World Know-how Associate to develop modern options for electrical energy grids, to advertise and unfold Industrial Web of Issues (IIoT) applied sciences, to boost cybersecurity processes, and to scout for co-innovation options primarily based on Open Innovation. Our corporations are actually working collectively to outline, design, check and deploy digital architectures.

We now have three pillars that information our co-innovation:

  • First is digitizing and enhancing the operational effectivity of the grid. Cisco expertise can allow the grid to have capabilities like real-time distant monitoring of consumption ranges and grid perform, and automatic self-healing. These capabilities permit Enel to revive grid faults remotely and robotically scale back wasteful interruption, and help Enel’s general emissions discount in Operation and Upkeep (O&M) actions — all of which may have constructive affect for native communities.
  • Second is a unified convergent IT/OT community designed with circularity in thoughts. Cisco and Enel designed Enel’s community to avoid wasting energy, house, and upkeep to scale back carbon emissions. The design contains digitized electrical infrastructure, interconnecting tens of hundreds of substations and introducing an IoT distributed sensor system for real-time upkeep of the grid’s major substations. This superior community strategy at Enel’s giant scale considerably contributes to higher use of restricted pure assets.
  • The third pillar is the flexibility to extend Enel’s renewable vitality internet hosting capability. By means of initiatives co-designed with Cisco, Enel strives to ship gigawatts of renewable vitality internet hosting capability. Once we say renewable vitality, we imply distributed photo voltaic, wind, hydro and geothermal vitality sources that must be related to the grid, supporting operational safety and permitting voltage and energy move management in a sensible grid structure.

How can this partnership assist Cisco & Enel progress in the direction of joint and particular person sustainability targets?

Federica: A method we see Cisco supporting Enel is thru sharing info, greatest practices and serving to them obtain sustainability targets.

Giovanni: One other attention-grabbing level of the co-innovation settlement is abilities alternate. We had a number of conferences and trainings the place we gained vertical information of {the electrical} grid from Enel, and we in flip shared our information in regards to the IT community for digital smartgrids. The co-education pillar has been probably the most profitable outcomes.

Shifting ahead, how do Cisco & Enel plan to leverage innovation for better sustainability affect?

Federica: For the Cisco Enel staff, innovation is a key a part of supporting sustainability. If we have a look at corporations resembling Enel, they will help financial revenue and sustainability within the international locations by which they function. Innovation and sustainability go hand-in-hand.

Giovanni: Enel launched, and now partially owns, a brand new firm referred to as Gridspertise. Gridspertise companions with Distribution System Operators (DSOs) all over the world to improve their distribution programs by including intelligence and making ready them for the longer term. Their mission is to ship a brand new period of sustainable and dependable sensible grids by way of modern, versatile and customer-driven digital options which can be round by design. With help from its trusted partnership with Cisco, Gridspertise is making strides in advancing sustainability and novel options to the exterior energy utility market


Grid operators like Enel want to maneuver vitality to show the lights on for the world, and an ‘all the time on’ Industrial IoT community helps help that mission. We’re desperate to see Cisco and Enel’s co-innovation efforts develop and proceed advancing digitization of the utilities market and sustainability.