France smart meters: ERDF begins Linky smart meter rollout

ERDF awards contracts for Linky smart meter installation
ERDF will begin the full national Linky smart meter rollout in December after finalising the recruitment of installation companies

In Europe, French grid manager Electricité Réseau Distribution France (ERDF) will start installing the first batch of Linky smart meters in December.

The kickstarting of the 35 million national rollout follows the French Parliament giving final approval to the energy transition law, opening the way for the creation of 11,000 installation jobs, according to English-language newspaper The Connexion.

In July 2015, ERDF issued tenders for the installation of one million Linky meters and expects three million Linky smart meters to be deployed by the end of 2016.

The national electricity distributor, which is overseeing the rollout, said energy companies will notify consumers 30-45 days before the due date of installation to schedule an appointment.

ERDF will fund the whole project costing GBP5-6 billion over the next six years utilising revenue saved by not sending out meter readers, Metering has learnt.

The distributor said in the local news report that a large-scale Linky pilot carried out on 300,000 households earlier this year using PLC communication had proven the meters can reduce power costs through peak demand management.

Before the end of 2015, France’s gas utility GrDF will also start tests of the GBP1 billion Gazpar scheme, which will see the adoption of smart gas meters.

The rollout is expected to run from 2017 until 2022.

ERDF boosts France’s smart grid landscape

In other French smart grid activity, ERDF’s smart grid project Sogrid, based in the city of Toulouse, entered a new phase this month including a roll out pilot involving 1,000 metering points.

The aim of the pilot is to test the reliability of the Sogrid communication system in real conditions in linking different devices on the network.

Sogrid was launched by ERDF in 2013 in a bid to create an electricity network that can integrate electric vehicles, renewable energy and demand control management.