New Power-Line Communications Standard being Developed by French-led Consortium

April 18, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

Landis+Gyr has joined the consortium created to develop SOGRID, an ambitious project which will support the deployment of the smart grid in France. The first of its kind at a global level, SOGRID is led by the French energy provider Électricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF) and STMicroelectronics, and supported by Agence de l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l'Energie (ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency).

The consortium partners will work to develop a next-generation chip that will power the millions of devices connected to the grid, allowing them to communicate with each other. The overall ambition of SOGRID is to set an international standard in communication based on the power line communication protocol (PLC), which allows the transmission of digital data over the grid. This means transitioning from a few “smart” elements in the grid towards a total “smart grid”. The European Competence Center responsible for Landis+Gyr’s PLC communication protocol is based in France.

“We are proud to be part of this unprecedented and ambitious industrial project, which will put France at the forefront of smart grid deployment in Europe. Our collaboration is based on our 25 years of experience in smart metering and the expertise we have developed through the pilot project Linky. With SOGRID, we take a step forward in laying the foundations for the grid of tomorrow, which will be more intelligent, more flexible and, above all, geared to customers’ needs”, stated Christian Huguet, CEO of Landis+Gyr France.

In addition to SOGRID, Landis+Gyr France was one of the strategic suppliers of the pilot project Linky conducted by ERDF and which saw 300,000 smart meters successfully deployed in France by 2011. ERDF plans to deploy a total of 35 million smart meters in its domestic market by 2020.

Landis+Gyr’s production site in France is located in Montluçon and employs 130 people. Each year it produces more than 500,000 meters, including ERDF’s Linky meters, and it is ready to increase its production capacity to over 1 million per year as the Linky meters are fully deployed. In 2012, the group relocated the European production of its receivers and transmitters to France. The site plans to produce 300,000 units in 2013.