In Europe, Belgian smart energy company Atrias has this week selected Accenture to create an application to manage utility sector data.The new market model will help Belgian utilities to prepare for the low-carbon energy transition and the digitization of the sector by supporting new developments like smart meters and rising decentralized power-generation, according to a statement.

Atrias believes data centralization will increase cost efficiency by enabling grid operators to share fixed IT infrastructure costs, simplify compliance, improve process transparency and standardize processes for the exchange of information.

Under the project, Accenture will work with Avanade to implement a private cloud solution from Microsoft Azure, underpinned by the Accenture Cloud Platform, to migrate and consolidate the energy market data into one clearing hub.

Accenture will then implement the Ferranti MECOMS meter data management and customer information system and deploy on top of it an integration layer webMethods of Software AG’s new Digital Business Platform, Metering & Smart Energy International has learnt.

Commenting on the development, Eric Jost, managing director of Accenture’s utilities industry group in Belgium and Luxembourg, said: “With ever-increasing complexity in grid operations and more demand from customers for personalised products and services, a cloud-first solution will allow new market dynamics and value creation through an improved energy market model.”

Belgium's smart metering initiatives

The Accenture-Atrias deal marks an increase in Belgian utilities' implementation of advanced smart metering systems.

Last year, Sibelga, distribution network operator for Belgium's capital Brussels, announced it would implement Elster's core platform for its remote metering program, in a bid to be smart-meter ready.

Under the project, Elster installed its EIServer solution on 9,000 commercial and industrial automated meter reading (AMR) units for the Belgian utility, together with its future-ready meter data communication and meter data management system.

The technology is part of Sibelga's Remote Metering for the Industry programme, which Elster hopes will extend across Sibelga's residential customer base in the next phase, with an additional 50,000 gas and electricity smart meters, said Frank Arbyn, the Sibelga project manager at Elster.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Well a potential quick win would be to avoid some of the ‘fixed IT infrastructure costs’ by not building a private cloud. Why saddle the utilities (and hence customers) with such a cost before the size and shape of the necessary infrastructure can be well understood and forecast for a whole asset refresh cycle?