Utility equipment: Distribution automation from Itron

Utility equipment utility supplies electric distribution Itron
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Electric distribution: Itron Inc. announced it is expanding its distribution automation (DA) offering with Cisco’s new IR500 industrial router, which will enable seamless integration with Itron’s OpenWay smart grid solution to deliver plug-and-play distribution automation capabilities. The IR500 will give utilities the ability to connect both new and legacy DA devices from multiple vendors to enable grid monitoring applications and analytics over OpenWay¹s smart grid network. OpenWay includes an advanced IP network that supports multiple smart grid applications and devices over an interoperable, secure, enterprise-class network infrastructure. Cisco¹s industrial router is expected to be available in the summer of 2014.

Taking advantage of the multi-application functionality of Itron’s smart grid network, the Cisco® industrial router provides multiple protocol support over a single network to help utilities improve grid efficiency and reliability. Specifically, the solution delivers connectivity to collect, manage and analyze data from a broad ecosystem of grid sensors and provide device control to support smart grid applications, such as Volt/VAR optimization, outage detection and restoration notification, remote switching and feeder optimization as well as analytic solutions, including transformer load management, power diversion and power quality monitoring.

The router is managed by the same Cisco Network Management System that manages Itron’s IPv6-enabled smart meters and Cisco’s Connected Grid Routers, providing a “single pane of glass” view of the entire network and endpoints.

“The integration of Cisco’s IR500 with Itron’s OpenWay smart grid solution illustrates the true value of our multiservice, IPv6 smart grid network. The open standards based network lays the foundation for true plug-and-play interoperability,”said Jeff Carkhuff, vice president of global product management for electricity at Itron. “The Cisco router will offer utilities yet another option for bringing DA devices and additional applications on to our multiservice network. We are building on the established Cisco Developer Network program to support a number of partners adding devices to the ecosystem.”

“Itron and Cisco’s vision for an interoperable grid was a key factor in our decision to install the OpenWay smart grid network. The ability to add devices and applications over time is an important attribute to mitigating technical risk and minimizing the lifetime cost of a modernized grid,” said Fiona Taylor, Director of BC Hydro's Smart Metering Program. “We look forward to continuing to expand our grid capabilities using Itron’s flexible, multi-application smart grid network in order to realize our smart grid vision and deliver greater value to our customers.”

“As they grow into the future, utilities require adaptable, flexible systems based on accurate information gathered from every part of the grid,” said Guido Jouret, VP/GM internet of Things. “Cisco’s collaboration with Itron offers the ability to cost-effectively collect, analyze, and distribute real-time data at every level to support electrical generation and distribution. This enduring relationship is helping create the foundation for the modernized grid based on Cisco networking.”

About Itron
Itron is a world-leading technology and services company dedicated to the resourceful use of energy and water. We provide comprehensive solutions that measure, manage and analyze energy and water. Our broad product portfolio includes electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement devices and control technology; communications systems; software; as well as managed and consulting services. With thousands of employees supporting nearly 8,000 customers in more than 100 countries, Itron applies knowledge and technology to better manage energy and water resources.

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