Madrid, Spain — (METERING.COM) — October 15, 2008 – Spanish utility group Iberdrola has achieved a breakthrough in its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project with point-to-point PLC interoperability demonstrated among three different base technology providers.

Following the definition and testing of the Physical (PHY) layer, which is based on orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) and offers up to 130 kbps in the CENELEC-A band, and the delivery of the Medium Access Control (MAC) and Convergence Layer (CL) specifications, Iberdrola has undertaken interoperability tests of prototypes prepared by three providers, Advanced Digital Design, STMicroelectronics, and uSysCom.

The achievement of interoperability is a relevant milestone towards an open, public and standard AMI solution, within the framework of the project, dubbed PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution).

Other PRIME partners are CURRENT Group, Landis+Gyr, and ZIV.

PRIME was launched with the aim of developing a new, future proof, PLC-based, open standard that could meet the future requirements on customer real time interfacing and smart grid evolution. The PHY layer is the basic building block of the structure and its basis on OFDM was selected as offering robust high speed communications at low cost. The MAC is the data link layer and the CL links the MAC to the upper, application layer, which will be developed based on international standards such as DLMS-COSEM.

Following further testing Iberdrola is planning to deploy a pilot project comprising 100,000 PLC meters and around 850 concentrators in 2009, as the first step to fully covering more than 10 million residential customers in Spain. Iberdrola will also develop its smart grid initiative over the pilot project.