G3-PLC Alliance formed to drive communications standard for smart grid development


Amsterdam, The Netherlands — (METERING.COM) — October 3, 2011 – Twelve major players in the smart grid industry have come together to establish a new global partnership to support the deployment of the new powerline communications (PLC) protocol G3-PLC.

These founder members are Enexis, ERDF, Maxim Integrated Products, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Nexans, Sagemcom, EDF R&D, and Trialog.

G3-PLC is based on OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing), which is widely acknowledged to be the most reliable, secure and cost effective mode of communication for the smart grid today. Designed to operate in the 10-490 kHz frequency bands, it enables smart meter management, control and monitoring of the electrical distribution network, energy management, EV charging, lighting control as well as other smart grid applications.

G3-PLC has been adopted as the basis for several major standards such as IEEE, ITU and IEC/CENELEC, which offer interoperability with the current G3-PLC specification available today. Several major semiconductor and equipment manufacturers offer G3-PLC products and it is being field tested by several major utilities and organizations worldwide, including ERDF in France.

“The formation of the G3-PLC Alliance is an essential step towards smart grids,” said Michele Bellon, president of ERDF who is also president of the G3-PLC Alliance. “By attracting leaders across the spectrum of the smart grid industry, we will be able to drive worldwide adoption and help reduce energy consumption. We ask other industry players to join our partnership and support this initiative.”

The Alliance seeks to drive widespread adoption of G3-PLC by enabling rapid development up and down the entire electric power ecosystem. Chief among the Alliance’s goals are to:

  • Promote G3-PLC in internationally recognized standards organizations (IEEE, ITU, IEC, ISO, etc.)
  • Promote G3-PLC technical features, performance, and overall value
  • Organize certification tests and programs
  • Organize and operate the industry users group to maintain the G3-PLC specification and to ensure interoperability
  • Support utilities in the deployment of the new G3-PLC communications protocol in their respective countries
  • Promote G3-PLC in other applications such as home/building energy management; home automation; vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-charging station communications; lighting control and management; factory automation, and optimization of smart grid performance.