We are engaged in a very challenging project that concerns the impact minimization of electric assets. These include overhead lines (high voltage and medium voltage, often with bare conductors) and substations crossing urban/rural/forest areas. The general framework is the No Net Biodiversity Loss approach: this is in order to estimate the effect on biodiversity and to promote its protection during the installation of electric infrastructure. The aim is to restore the areas involved and to offset the residual impacts, so that no loss remains.
Our goal is to collect ideas/methodologies for minimizing the effect on biodiversity in the construction of the new asset and to optimize the offsetting in terms of land occupancy and economic effort.
This Challenge contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
- SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- SDG 13: Climate Action
- SDG 15: Life on Land
For questions about the Challenge and their proposals, Solvers can contact: EnelOpenInnovabilityChallenges@wazoku.com.
- Biodiversity: variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. Source: CBD, Convention of Biological Diversity.
- Habitats: for the habitat definition, please refer to the list reported in the following link: https://www.iucnredlist.org/resources/habitat-classification-scheme with particular reference to forests, shrubland, grassland, wetlands, artificial/terrestrial)
- Critical habitat: according to the IFC Performance Standard 6 (IFC PS6), this is an area with high biodiversity value. It includes areas that meet one or more of the following criteria: ∙ Criterion 1: Critically Endangered (CR) and/or Endangered (EN) species; ∙ Criterion 2: Endemic and/or restricted-range species; ∙ Criterion 3: Migratory and/or congregatory species; ∙ Criterion 4: Highly threatened and/or unique ecosystems; and ∙ Criterion 5: Key evolutionary processes.
- Forest: Land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10 per cent, or trees that can reach these thresholds in situ. This does not include land that is predominantly under agricultural or urban use (source: FAO, Forest Resources Assessment 2020)
- Mitigation Hierarchy approach: The sequence of actions to foresee and avoid impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services and, where avoidance is not possible, minimize; and, when impacts occur, rehabilitate or restore; and, where significant residual impacts remain, offset
- Species: flora and fauna species.
The general specifications of the assets are described below:
- Substations: around 2,500 m2 (surface area)
- Overhead lines, clearance width: on average 12 m buffer (defined as the area to be cleared around the line), 6 meters to the left and 6 meters to the right, but this could be reduced in the case of an insulated line.
- Overhead lines, height: the range differs in terms of line voltage and is between approximately 10 m and 30 m
Today the solutions adopted have been detected according to specific needs. Since the complexity of contexts is progressively increasing, it is necessary to have a wider portfolio of possible to utilize at a higher scale in the biodiversity field.
We are looking for an innovative solution to minimize the impact on biodiversity and also to protect it (i.e., habitat recovery, reforestation and the reintroduction of species) in all phases (from design to construction). We are seeking a working/operative perspective that can be tailored for use in different geographical areas to:
- Identify practices and solutions (including technological) to map local species and habitats to be protected from the very first phase of the asset project.
- Detect the smartest solution in order to actively reduce/mitigate/offset the involvement and, in a concrete way, in order to protect biodiversity, thereby obtaining benefits for the surrounding environment. For example, in the case of a 10 km overhead line construction, we are looking for a solution that can minimize as much as possible the effect on biodiversity and, in the case of residual impact, the best solution to offset in the surrounding area (i.e., optimizing land occupancy).
- Define a set of solutions to be applied if and when a forestry habitat is impacted.
- Have a concrete/operating solution to be implemented to protect biodiversity and/or offset with proximity criteria for new assets (overhead HV/MV lines + substations) with particular reference to the countries where Enel operates (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Iberia, Italy, Peru and Romania)
- Have a range of standardized solutions related to our main habitats (rural, forest) to be applied each time a new asset is designed/constructed
- Only consider overhead lines
We would also like to see:
- customized solutions based on different areas (species, vegetations, habitats)
- suitable key performance indicators (KPIs) for the benefits
The submitted proposal should contain two parts:
1. Collaboration Proposal including:
a. A technical description of a solution with an explanation of how the Solver proposes to address all of the Solution Requirements. The Solver can withhold proprietary details, if necessary, but should provide convincing evidence that will enable Enel Grids to appreciate the merits of the approach and conduct a feasibility study.
b. A brief discussion of the capabilities and relevant expertise for executing the proposed solution. The Solvers should explain what they can provide and what might be required from the Seeker. For example: “I can construct a prototype, but I would need the Seeker to help with scale up and distribution”;
c. An overview of the proposed path forward (inputs, outputs, timelines and cost estimates);
d. Data, patent, journal references, or any additional material that supports the proposed solution.
2. General Information about the Solver including:
a. The key contact person for this Challenge (including phone number and email address).
b. Organization/Company/University name and address (including website, if available). NOTE: For most Challenges, Solvers are not allowed to include personal contact information; however, for an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP ) Challenge like this, it is required.
NOTE: Only proposals from Solvers who have the ability to work as a collaboration partner will be considered.
All proposers are invited to carefully read the Challenge and its Regulations, which can be found below in the Attachments section, before submitting a solution.
The employees of Enel Grids and of the other Companies in the Enel Group who are involved in the organization and management of the Competition or have access to the Open Innovability Portal back office, as well as their spouses or partners and their first, second, third and fourth-degree relatives, are not eligible to take part in this Challenge.
Furthermore, employees of the companies in the Enel Group who have worked in the technical sector of ecological monitoring and who work, at the time of the Challenge, on modeling biodiversity, or their spouses, partners or any of their first, second, third and fourth-degree relatives, as determined by Italian law, are not eligible to take part in this Challenge.
Proposals must be explained clearly in English, with documents attached (max 5 files, 35MB for each one. PDF, JPEG, ZIP formats supported), if needed.
The deadline for proposals is September 5, 2022 and the evaluation process will start after this date.
Challenge, award, IP rights
This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver will need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with the aim of establishing a possible collaboration.
Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (Central European Time) on September 5, 2022.
Late submissions will not be considered.
Specific regulations can be found in the CSA attached at the bottom of this page.
What happens next?
After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.
Enel will evaluate the proposal using the following criteria:
- Overall scientific and technical feasibility of the proposed solution;
- Economic potential of the concept (e.g., Total Cost of Ownership);
- Business potential for Enel;
- Novelty and creativity;
- Potential for proprietary position (i.e., is the technology novel or protectable?);
- User's capabilities and related experience;
- Realism of the proposed solution;
- Maturity level of the proposal.
If the reward includes "Collaboration with Enel", once suitable solution/s have been identified, Enel will reserve the right to start a collaboration, by way of example, with all or part of the following activities:
- Test execution;
- Supply of prototypes (in the case of equipment);
- Installation and site tests;
- Follow-up and monitoring of the proposed idea’s behavior.
Upon completion of the evaluation, the Solver will receive feedback.
If the proposal is successful, the Solver will be contacted by Enel in order to discuss the next steps.
The final award for this Challenge depends on satisfactory completion of the verification process, including acceptance of the Challenge-Specific Agreement (CSA), which is the regulation for this Challenge.
The verification process includes obtaining the following from the Solver: a signed affidavit (based on the CSA), an employee waiver (if applicable), proof of identify, and a Counterparty Analysis Questionnaire (CAQ).
InnoCentive is collaborating with Enel in the management of this Challenge.
InnoCentive is a global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash rewards of up to $ 1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advances.