Spanish utility Iberdrola has launched an RFP to acquire 1 million smart meters based on the PRIME powerline communications standard, for deployment between March 2012 and February 2013 as part of its ambitious plan to deploy 11 million smart meters by 2018.
Following the successful result of the 100,000 meter smart grid pilot in the city of Castellon, Iberdrola is currently deploying 300,000 smart meters in 12 different locations. The aim is to extend the Castellon experience to all the geographical regions where Iberdrola operates in the country, while applying smart operational procedures to the entire value chain of the distribution activity.
PRIME is an open PLC solution for smart metering and smart grids. PRIME – which is freely downloadable – has been officially accepted as worldwide ITU-T recommendations G.9995 (PHY layer) and G.9956 (Data Link layer) PRIME annex and it is also expected that PRIME is to be adopted by CENELEC as European CLC TS-50567-1.
Smart meters from up to six meter manufacturers, all interoperable and PRIME compliant, have been installed in Iberdrola networks. All these meters are certified to employ one PRIME certified solution among up to four different PRIME vendors, i.e. Atmel, STMicroelectronics, Texas instrument and ZIV, with several more PRIME solutions coming to the market.
In 2011 Iberdrola issued more than 250,000 electricity bills based on remote meter readings, and more than 30,000 operations have been executed remotely. These include connections, reconnections, tariff changes and firmware upgrades performed remotely on PRIME smart meters.
Following the multi-vendor approach taken by Iberdrola, 16 meter manufacturers are currently participating in this competitive RFQ. Results are expected to be announced by mid-February.