Toulouse, France --- (METERING.COM) --- April 17, 2013 - The SOGRID project has been launched by ERDF and STMicroelectronics, along with a consortium of eight other partners, to support the deployment of the smart grid in France and globally.

The €27 million project will run for three years through the end of 2015, with support of €12 million from the French Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME).

The aim of SOGRID is to develop a comprehensive communication system that will allow the different devices on the network to communicate with each other. Specifically, the consortium will develop a next generation integrated chip using the PLC protocol to enable the transmission of digital information on the grid. From this a new international standard is also anticipated to emerge.

With this a fully intelligent network would be created – and constitute a technological breakthrough comparable to that of the development of the internet at the start of this century, according to the press material on the initiative.

Expected outcomes of the new technology would include:

  • Real time control of the grid and the ability to act remotely and more quickly in case of failure
  • Grid integration of decentralized renewable energy sources
  • Support for new uses of electricity, in particular electric vehicles
  • Opportunity to ensure the balance between production and consumption, particularly during consumption peaks due to the deletion of some devices
  • Control of consumption by the consumer and improved quality of service.

The technology will be validated in a six-month trial with 1,000 devices deployed in the Toulouse metropole.

Other participants in the consortium include industrial partners Capgemini, Landis+Gyr, Nexans and Sagemcom, innovation companies LAN and Trialog, and the research institutions École polytechnique and Grenoble INP.
In France alone more than 35 million communicating devices will be installed in the grid. Internationally the number will exceed 1.7 billion.