Collaboration aims to accelerate UK smart metering project

Cable & Wireless Worldwide and Silver Spring Networks are collaborating to accelerate the delivery of smart grid and smart metering in the UK.

The partnership will support the development of the communications fabric for smart grid and smart metering, so that it is secure, upgradeable and capable of supporting multiple applications on a unified network platform.

The collaboration will take advantage of Silver Spring’s secure IPv6-based radio frequency network infrastructure, software and services. C&W Worldwide will use its secure next-generation network and experience in delivering mission-critical communications networks, managed services and managed data centre services to utility companies.

“This collaboration with Silver Spring will enable energy suppliers, and the UK as a whole, to extract value from the intelligence embedded in the smart grid as additional applications are brought on-line,” said Matt Key, managing director of enterprise at C&W Worldwide.

“It will also help DNOs (distribution network operators) serve their regulatory mandates and to extend the life of their existing infrastructure.”

The collaboration will let DNOs embed intelligence deep into the electricity distribution network that will provide better visibility and control. It will help address integration of renewable energy onto the electricity grid and manage the associated problems of power quality management and load balancing.

This should ensure a capable, low latency, resilient and cost effective deployment for the smart grid that can be exploited for smart metering.

“As the UK government has made clear, smart grids and smart meters will be instrumental in achieving energy policy objectives,” said Eric Dresselhuys, EVP of Silver Spring. “These programmes will affect every energy consumer: it’s important to get this right the first time.

“We are delighted to partner with C&W Worldwide. Their deep knowledge and long-standing commitment to the utility industry are strongly aligned with our mission to bring IP networking into the UK smart grid.”

Silver Spring has already allowed utilities across the world to deploy a broad set of smart grid initiatives quickly and cost effectively. C&W Worldwide has a strong heritage in the UK utility sector through the assimilation of Energis, Thus and Your Comms. It has more than 1100 operational network sites, many co-located at substations and on the transmission companies’ estate, and in excess of 20,000 route kilometres of fibre wrapped around most of the earth wire of the UK’s energy transmission networks.

Silver Spring Networks enables smart grids across a secure IPv6-based RF network infrastructure. Its Gridscape, a network management suite, and Utility IQ application suite enable meter management, outage detection, demand response, energy efficiency and electric vehicle management.

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