In Europe, Norwegian utilities consortium Smarthub last week announced a deal with energy software company Greenbird to improve its meter data management system.The deal includes Greenbird supplying a solution to enhance the consortium's data centralization system.

Greenbird will provide its Metercloud for integration of smart meter data with Norway's national meter data hub Elhub, the company told Metering & Smart Energy International.

Metercloud will also be integrated with other business applications supporting smart metering initiatives of the 10 utilities in Smarthub.

Norwegian utilities merge for smart metering

The integration will allow simplified smart meter data acquisition, processing and intelligent utilization for implementation of smart grids, said a Greenbird spokesperson.

The development comes as the 10 utilities are preparing to deploy smart meters mandated nationally by 2019.

The agreement with Smarthub also includes a subscription to the test and simulation platform Ghostwriter.

Smarthub can simulate meter readings and events from more than 150,000 planned smart meters before the actual rollout of the smart meters.

Commenting on the development, Svein ivar Morsund, general manager at Smarthub, said: “Instead of solving integration with a traditional integration project, we realized that Greenbird can offer a more efficient and future proof solution with Metercloud.”

Morsund added: “Metercloud offers advantages like lower upfront investments, lower risk, predictable costs, and a solution that is maintained and continuously developed by Greenbird.”

Thorsten Heller, CEO of Greenbird, said: “Customers have full flexibility to choose between hosting the solution on a private data center, or a Norwegian or global cloud provider.”

Mr Heller said Metercloud's container architecture allowing extensions for utilizing Big Data and machine learning will enable utilities’ grid predictive maintenance, outage management, self-healing and self-diagnosis.

Norwegian utilities in smart metering

Norway's utilities are approaching the mandatory deployment of smart meters within their service areas by collaborating to form consortia.

In Q3 2015, four Norwegian utilities jointly ordered 50,000 meters from manufacturer Kamstrup for a smart meter rollout.

The consortium consisting of energy companies Guldbrandsdal Energi, Valdres Energiverk, Eidefoss and Vang Energiverk asked Kamstrup to supply a smart metering system that includes, meters, communication system, central system and integration.

The consortium also forged a hosting agreement with Kamstrup, which they claim will save making “costly investments in IT hardware” or establishing unprofitable operations departments.

Bjørg Brestad, chief executive cfficer of Valdres Energiverk, said: “It was important for us to enter into an agreement with a stable and reliable supplier, whom we know with great certainty will be in the market for many years to come.”

“With this agreement, the four power utilities have the same setup for ensuring efficient operations as the larger energy suppliers, such as DONG Energy with one million metering points,” says Jesper Daugaard, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing in Kamstrup.

The smart meter rollout was scheduled for the beginning of 2016 and will continue until the end of 2018.