Cisco, Itron partner on smart grid networks

Cisco's push to be a smart grid player continues via a partnership with Itron, a leading smart meter vendor.

Cross posted from Smart Planet.

Cisco and Itron, which makes smart meter systems, on Wednesday said they will partner to target smart grid systems.

The two companies weren’t shy about the lofty goal to build “a definitive 21st century Internet Protocol (IP)-based communications platform to the smart grid market.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Itron and Cisco will develop the reference design for a smart grid standard and smart metering network. Itron will license and embed Cisco’s technology in its OpenWay meters (right) and distribute the company’s networking gear and software in its smart meter deployments.

According to the two companies, the partnership will feature the following:

  • Cisco and Itron will collaborate on smart meter technology and the networks that connect to utilities.
  • The two companies will develop a secure IPv6 network for smart metering, distribution communication and customer interfaces.
  • Wireless and wired networks in the smart grid will be interoperable.

Cisco and Itron said that they will respect current grid investments, but plan to look for ways to build out for the future and roll out smart grid technology over time.

Indeed, Cisco has made a big push into the smart grid market. In a recent interview on Smart Planet, Cisco’s Laura Ipsen, the company’s smart grid chief, said:

We’re very excited broadly about the energy space. We think it’s right for both transformation and innovation that should open up new opportunities, whether it’s jobs or new technologies.

The business of utilities…we weave in technologies to create a more robust system.

For us, we see a lot of parallels to the Internet. It’s about transformation. The Internet was a 30-year progression; I think there’s a similar parallel. It’s not going to happen overnight.

Source: Smart Planet: Cisco, Itron team on smart grid networks and metering