Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

NES expands smart meter deal with Romanian utility

Steve Rogerson
April 21, 2020



Romanian utility Electrica is buying an extra 32,000 smart meters from California-based Networked Energy Services (NES). This further expands the NES infrastructure project with Electrica, which includes cooperation with local project partner Adrem Engineering as well as integration with the IDSpecto MDM system from Görlitz.
 
Electrica's SDEE Muntenia Nord exercised the option to purchase and install an additional 32,000 NES smart meters and associated data concentrators and software.
 
Electrica is a utility in Romania with three distribution system operator (DSO) companies, including SDEE Muntenia Nord, and about 3.6m electricity customers.
 
This follows several previous successful projects in Romania with SDEE Transilvania Nord and SDEE Muntenia Nord, where the NES system is delivering 15min load profile data for the installed meters at a daily availability rate that is greater than 99.7%. This is achieved through the use of the OSGP open smart grid protocol based power line communication technology.
 
The 15min load profile data includes billing consumption and power quality voltage data (minimum, RMS values and maximum) for each phase connected to the meter, providing a source of information to support low-voltage grid operations, capacity management and transmission loss reductions.
 
Prior to the new order, SDEE Muntenia Nord previously selected Adrem and the NES system as a result of a public tender procedure. Besides the proven ability to provide remote reading of metering and power quality data, this provides opportunities for innovation and differentiation offered through the NES Patagonia energy applications platform.
 
"By exercising this option, Electrica has demonstrated its confidence in the value of the NES system as the market’s premier smart metering system and Adrem as a trusted project management partner,” said David Thomson, president and CEO of NES. "We are excited to continue working with Electrica and our partners in this expanded project in Romania. This project showcases how our Patagonia energy applications platform enables the smart energy transition enabling utilities to respond to and actively lead market change, by providing future proof metering infrastructure, smart grid apps and extensive security features."
 
The platform, built on the distributed intelligence and computing resources in the NES system, lets Electrica’s customers actively participate in energy conservation programmes and allows Electrica to implement NES applications, such as Grid Navigator and Grid Flow, to identify and help reduce the amount of losses in its low voltage network.
 
Electrica can also introduce Grid Watch, which adds intrusion detection and response capabilities.
 
These are in addition to the NES Patagonia platform’s security features, such as automatically changing unique meter keys and AES-128 encryption, which are designed to help protect, detect and respond to cyber-security threats in an efficient and timely manner.
 
“Electrica’s decision to continuing expanding the use of the NES Patagonia platform and IDSpecto directly complements the Romanian smart grid strategy because of its rich features, proven reliability and superior security capabilities,” said Andrei Berechet, director of business development for Adrem. “We continue to be impressed by the NES future proof solution that can incorporate value added smart grid applications through its energy applications platform, as well as allowing remote upgrades to smart meters to provide new security enhancements and new features. This will ensure the DSOs in Romania can stay aligned to developing regulatory requirements, continue to innovate in their consumer services and make the transition to smart sustainable energy.”
 
NES was formed as a spinoff from Echelon’s grid modernisation division in 2014. NES is headquartered in the USA with R&D centres in Silicon Valley, North Dakota and Poland, and sales offices throughout the world. Its smart grid technology is used in nearly 40 million smart meters and other smart end devices around the world.
 
Adrem Engineering develops and implements energy infrastructure, from complex general contracting to in-house equipment development. The company's history began in 1999, when Adrem Invest entered the automation market by establishing a scada and automation division. What followed were 20 years of research, development and implementation of scada and process automation. Since 2014 the division began operating as an independent company serving utilities in the electricity, gas, water, heating and transport electrification markets.