Liberty Lake, Wash.-based Itron, Inc. has delivered an advanced meter management (AMM) system—including head-end and meter data management software—to Iberdrola, the largest electric utility in Spain.
Development and implementation of the Iberdrola AMM platform included the upgrade of a previous software release, as well as general and specific improvements to Itron’s meter data collection software.
Iberdrola expects to roll out two million smart meters by the first quarter of 2014 under the initiative, which began in 2010. The contract for the meters has been split among seven companies: ZIV, Landis+Gyr, Sagemcom (News - Alert), Sogecam, Orbis, Elster and General Electric. The total contract is worth €300 million ($395 million). Itron provided the meters for the pilot segment of the project, installing 100,000 meters in Castellón, Spain in 2010.
Iberdrola’s smart meter program is focused on developing a new open and interoperable solution based on the PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution (PRIME) telecommunications protocol. The end objective is to establish a complete set of standards on an international level that will permit interoperability among equipment and systems from different manufacturers. In this way, competition in the metering market will be encouraged for the benefit of consumers. Unlike other commercially available solutions, the components of this new architecture (protocols, modulation systems, data formats, etc.) will not be subject to intellectual property rights.
In this respect, the specifications of the advanced metering infrastructure will be so detailed that any participant will be able to bring to the market interoperable solutions.
To date, Iberdrola has reached the halfway mark—reading more than one million PRIME meters per day. Itron’s AMM solution offers a flexible and robust data infrastructure—enabling Iberdrola to optimize network management, reduce operational costs and enhance its quality of service for the benefit of consumers.
“This project is one of the most important smart metering initiatives in Europe and marks a significant step for Iberdrola toward the building of the smart grid,” said Oscar Márquez, Itron general manager for Spain. “Itron is proud to accompany Iberdrola in the scale-up of this project and looks forward to reaching further milestones with this rollout.”
Along with meters, the project will also upgrade 1,100 transformers in the Basque country; another project will upgrade 1,600 transformers around Madrid. Distribution automation projects are planned for other regions, including Murcia, Extremadura, Castile-La Mancha and Valencia.
Through Spain’s STAR (News - Alert) program – the acronym for Sistemas de Telegestión y Automatización de la Red in Spanish, or “Remote Grid Management and Automation System” in English – Iberdrola eventually will invest €2 billion ($2.64 billion) by 2018 in the Spanish grid, upgrading more than 10.3 million legacy domestic meters and adapting more than 80,000 transformers, which will be equipped with remote management, supervision and automation capabilities.
Edited by Alisen Downey