San Ramon, CA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- June 2, 2010 - Nine new members have joined the PRIME Alliance, indicating their commitment to support and promote the open, global PRIME (PoweRline Intelligent Metering Evolution) standard for narrowband powerline for smart grid products and services.

The nine companies are the Moldova-based ADD Grup, CEZ Group subsidiary CEZ Merení, s.r.o. of the Czech Republic, Circutor S.A. of Spain, Portuguese energy company EDP, semiconductor products supplier Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe, Slovenia-based Iskraemeco and its Spanish subsidiary Metrega, Orbis and SAC of Spain, and the French Sagemcom.

“Having important semiconductor solutions suppliers, metering companies, utilities and system integrators joining the Alliance underlines the importance and recognition of PRIME as the future standard for powerline communication-based smart meters enabling the smart grid vision,” said Tom Willie, PRIME Alliance vice chairman from member company Current Group.

The PRIME Alliance is focused on the development of a new open, public and non-proprietary powerline communications (PLC) solution that will support real time smart metering functionalities and enable the building of smart grids.
 
The goal of the Alliance is to provide a framework in which vendors of meters, data concentrators, in-home devices and chipsets, could access fully open physical layer (PHY) and medium access control (MAC) specifications in order to design fully interoperable solutions, which would allow multiple vendors to be operational within the same distribution network in one common system platform.

The PRIME initiative was originally conceived to meet Spanish utility Iberdrola’s need for a future-proof, cost effective advanced metering solution. Iberdrola selected seven meter vendors and four manufacturers of PLC data concentrators for the first PRIME deployment, and is now poised to deploy the first 100,000 multi-vendor, PRIME-compliant meters.

PRIME smart meter deployments by other Alliance utility members are expected to follow shortly.

The founding members of the PRIME Alliance are Iberdrola, ST Microelectronics, Texas Instruments, Landis+Gyr, Itron, Current Group, ZivGroup and Advanced Digital Design.