Madrid, Spain — (METERING.COM) — February 6, 2009 – Spanish utility group Iberdrola has announced that the European Commission has approved the open public extended network (OPEN) metering project to develop an open standard technology for remote meter management.

The project will be coordinated by Iberdrola within the 7th Framework Program for the promotion of research, development and innovation (RDI) in the energy field. The project consortium comprises nineteen partners including electricity companies, meter manufacturers, communications companies, research centers and universities from seven European countries (Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and Switzerland).

With a budget of more than €4 million, 60 percent of which will be subsidized, the 30-month project envisages the large-scale implementation of remote electricity and gas meters. To date, such large-scale implementation has been hampered by the lack of a set of widely accepted open standards capable of guaranteeing the interoperability of systems and devices produced by different manufacturers.

The main objective of the OPEN Meter project is to specify a comprehensive set of open and public standards for AMI, supporting electricity, gas, water and heat metering, based on the agreement of the relevant stakeholders in this area. Partners will carry out activities resulting in identifying and filling the knowledge gaps necessary to enable the relevant industries to agree, implement and embrace the new set of international standards specified.

The project will take advantage of the existing international and European standards, technologies and solutions, adapting them to the specific needs of AMI where possible, and carrying out research and technological development activities where necessary.

Members of the OPEN Meter consortium include utilities EDF, Endesa, ENEL, Iberdrola, Netbeher Nederland and RWE, meter manufacturers Actaris, Elster, Landis+Gyr and ZIV Medida, technology partners  Advanced Digital Design, Current, ST Microelectronics and Usyscom, research centres/universities CESI Ricerca, KEMA and Karlsruhe University, as well as the European standardization body CENELEC and the DLMS User Association.