Landis+Gyr will supply ORES with its Gridstream solution, which includes software, the AIM system that runs on PLC technology as well as 1250 smart meters.
Two-hundred fifty of these homes will have smart electricity meters as well as smart gas meters--which will use a common communications link from the home to seamlessly send multi-energy data back to the utility. The first phase of the pilot project is due to be complete in spring 2011, with 100 smart meters installed in the city of Nivelles and a further 100 installed in Marche-en-Famenne.
“This pilot project is a key step forward regarding the development of a smart future in Belgium. It will enable us to identify the benefits that smart metering has to offer and to check end consumer behavior regarding this new technology,” says Marc Van Eeckhout, pilot project manager at ORES.
ORES is also considering introducing the ecoMeter from Landis+Gyr to selected parts of the pilot project once the first phase is completed at the end of this year. In-home displays give the end consumer the opportunity to directly influence their energy consumption through the provision of real-time information on energy pricing.
“Smart metering is the only way to lay a solid foundation of a smart grid environment in Belgium,” says Stephan Vandecasteele, Head of Landis+Gyr in Belgium, “We are certain that this project will once again show that smart metering brings benefits all along the metering value chain, and to society as a whole. We welcome this opportunity to work with ORES and to deliver these benefits to Belgian consumers.”
The pilot project is due to be complete by mid 2011. ORES is partly municipality owned and has a total of 1.4 million metering points, all located in the south of Belgium. In total, Belgium has 5.5 million metering points. ORES is the second largest grid operator in the country.
Results from this pilot project will flow into an economic analysis that the Kingdom of Belgium will submit to the EU regarding smart metering in 2012. Factors analysed will include the status of the smart metering technology, operational efficiency, flexibility in terms of usage by the end consumer and the overall business case, including the projected total cost of a nationwide rollout.
The EU recently announced its Energy Infrastructure Package, which cites the expedited rollout of smart metering as a key step in achieving its 2020 goals. Smart meters and power grids are highlighted as the key to realizing the full potential for renewable energy and energy savings, and as essential to the smooth functioning of the European energy market and to the security of energy supply.