Companies form alliance to promote G3-PLC

Twelve major players in the smart grid industry announced a global partnership at this week’s Metering Europe Conference in Amsterdam to support the deployment of the new powerline communications (PLC) protocol called G3-PLC.

The partners in the association are led by major players in the smart grid sector, including Enexis, ERDF, Maxim Integrated Products, ST Microelectronics, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Itron, Landis & Gyr, Nexans, Sagemcom and Trialog.

PLC technology transmits digital information through electrical power lines using OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) and is believed by many to be the most reliable, secure and cost effective mode of communications for the smart grid today.

The alliance was formed to support G3-PLC’s rapid adoption by utilities worldwide in various smart grid applications such as automatic meter management, EV charging, home energy management, lighting control and grid monitoring.

“The formation of the G3-PLC Alliance is an essential step towards smart grids,” said Michele Bellon, G3-PLC Alliance president.

“By attracting leaders across the spectrum of the smart grid industry, we will be able to drive worldwide adoption and help reduce energy consumption. We ask other industry players to join our partnership and support this initiative.”

Just as with other ubiquitous communications standards, Wifi and Bluetooth for example, this alliance has been created to drive widespread adoption of G3-PLC by enabling rapid development up and down the entire electric power ecosystem.

“Until now, smart grid deployments have been impeded by the lack of standards-compliant solutions,” said Michael Navid, executive business manager for powerline products at Maxim. “Building intelligence into the existing power grid will cost tens of billions of dollars.

“Utilities need a solution that is standards-based to protect their investments, to allow sourcing from multiple vendors, and to facilitate the integration of new services and equipment.”

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