U.K. grid networks to accelerate advanced communications systems


August 5, 2011 – Cable&Wireless Worldwide and Silver Spring Networks announced that they are collaborating to accelerate the delivery of smart grid and smart metering in the UK. The partnership will support the development of the communications fabric for smart grid and smart metering, so that it is secure, upgradable in the future, and capable of supporting multiple applications on a unified network platform.

Together the companies expect to provide a compelling end-to-end smart grid networking solution for both foundational and enduring smart grid projects across the full spectrum of the UK electricity value chain. The collaboration will take advantage of Silver Spring’s secure IPv6-based Radio Frequency network infrastructure, software, and services. C&W Worldwide will utilise its secure next-generation network and extensive experience in delivering highly complex, mission-critical communications networks, managed services and managed data centre services to utility companies.

The collaboration will enable Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to embed intelligence deep into the electricity distribution network that will provide unprecedented visibility and control. It will help address integration of renewable energy onto the electricity grid and manage the associated challenges of power quality management and load balancing. The solution will ensure a capable, low latency, resilient and cost effective deployment for the smart grid that can be exploited for smart metering.

Matt Key, Managing Director of Enterprise at C&W Worldwide, comments, "This collaboration with Silver Spring will enable energy suppliers, and the UK as a whole, to extract value from the intelligence embedded in the smart grid as additional applications are brought on-line. It will also help DNOs to serve their regulatory mandates and to extend the life of their existing infrastructure."

"As the UK Government has made clear, smart grids and smart meters will be instrumental in achieving energy policy objectives. These programmes will affect every energy consumer: it’s important to get this right the first time," says Eric Dresselhuys, EVP of Silver Spring. "We are delighted to partner with C&W Worldwide. Their deep knowledge and long-standing commitment to the utility industry are strongly aligned with our mission to bring IP networking into the UK smart grid."

Silver Spring has already allowed utilities across the world to deploy a broad set of smart grid initiatives quickly and cost effectively. C&W Worldwide has a strong heritage in the UK utility sector through the assimilation of Energis, THUS and Your Comms. It has more than 1,100 operational network sites, many co-located at substations and on the transmission companies’ estate, and in excess of 20,000 route kilometres of fibre wrapped around most of the earth wire of the UK’s energy transmission networks.