Itron, Inc. (NASDAQ:ITRI) and National Grid announced today that they are collaborating on a project to build and evaluate an advanced smart grid in Massachusetts utilizing a new generation of standards-based network technology.
The two companies will collaborate to field test the multi-application capabilities of the new Itron-Cisco IPv6 based smart grid solution, including advanced metering, home area networking (HAN) and distribution automation (DA). By leveraging the Cisco GridBlocks™ Architecture, the solution will deliver these applications over a common network infrastructure designed to eliminate the need for proprietary or vendor-specific integration of applications and devices.
As part of the project, Itron and National Grid will thoroughly test system functionality and demonstrate the interoperability advantages of the Itron-Cisco IPv6 based solution by working in concert with third-party HAN and DA devices. National Grid will utilize the system to evaluate advanced metering; demand response; time-based pricing; in-home devices and web tools; network monitoring; meter data management and presentment; and advanced analytics.
“By collaborating with Itron and Cisco, we hope to be able to assess firsthand the foundational elements of an intelligent grid that can evolve with us over time,” said Cheri Warren, vice president, Asset Management for National Grid. “We’re taking this opportunity to test how we can build a flexible and intelligent grid that will optimize the flow of distributed energy resources, enhance the performance of electricity distribution systems, and provide our customers with choice and control over how they manage their energy use.”
National Grid’s involvement with this technology trial also supports their vision for joining with industry and policy leaders to provide communities and customers the best options for conservation and energy management.
“Our collaboration with National Grid represents a significant milestone in Itron’s efforts to evolve smart grid communications from proprietary systems to true, multi-application networks built on open standards,” said Russ Vanos, Itron vice president Smart Grid Solutions. “By working with global leaders such as National Grid and Cisco, we are bringing to market a solution that will fundamentally transform and simplify the way utilities execute to their smart grid strategies.”