In the US, National Grid has bought Trilliant's smart grid communications platform in a bid to deliver energy efficiency to the utility's customers in Rhode Island state.

Under the terms of the deal, Trilliant's platform will support a volt/var optimisation (VVO) demonstration providing wireless field area network connectivity between field devices and National Grid’s network.

Future-proofing the grid

National Grid, which has a service area of more than eight million customers across northeastern America, said the smart grid technology purchase was part of creating a single network to manage a variety of different applications.

Rob Sheridan, director, Utility of the Future for National Grid, said: “We ultimately chose Trilliant’s wireless communications technology because of its performance value-proposition to provide the foundation for VVO,  which is part of National Grid’s strategy to continue to provide our customers with safe, reliable and affordable service.

“Our customers will benefit in tangible ways from this future-proof solution, which will provide value to our customers through energy savings.”

'Bedrock' of smart grid

Trilliant said a communications platform provides "the smart bedrock" needed to deploy future applications.

Mike Mortimer, SVP of Global Sales for Trilliant, commented: “An important aspect to grid modernisation is choosing the right network which offers flexibility for future applications – from fault detection, isolation and restoration to innovative demand-side management initiatives.

“This project highlights the tangible ways that the right communications platform can help our utility customers realize the benefits of energy management from a variety of entry points. By choosing the platform, utilities gain the flexibility to choose how best they would like to start modernizing the grid.”

The Trilliant communication platform can also be integrated with a neighbourhood- or home-area network capabilities, and provide the foundation for advanced fault detection, fault isolation and restoration and other real time DA initiatives.