As the European Union rolls out smart electricity meters and other grid-modernizing technologies, utility companies are facing more challenges than ever. To help them better manage outages, bring on renewable energy sources and juggle a host of new applications, Echelon and Oracle are teaming up to offer them a new, integrated solution.
The Oracle Utilities Smart Grid Gateway, integrated with Echelon’s smart metering solution, is designed to help utilities more quickly and reliably deploy multiple applications to manage assets and customers.
“European Union member states are required to have 80 percent of consumers equipped with a smart meter by 2020,” said Bastian Fischer, vice president industry strategy, EMEA, for Oracle Utilities. “Utilities need to act now even though regulations, standards and available technology will change, so they are looking for an open, multi-application solution that will grow with them over time.”
With an increasing number of outages and growing demand for energy and renewable integration, utilities need new ways to manage the grid, analyze and act on real-time consumption and generation data, and quickly diagnose and respond to problems.
The new Echelon-Oracle offering, announced at this week’s Metering, Billing/CRM Europe conference in Amsterdam, uses Echelon control nodes (data concentrators) to aggregate data from smart meters and other devices deployed on the low-voltage grid. Echelon’s software aggregates and pre-processes that data, then passes it to Oracle’s Utilities Smart Grid Gateway. The gateway then presents that data in a unified fashion to Oracle’s suite of applications.
“Utilities need the ability to collect data from the field to diagnose problems faster and the ability to turn that data into actionable, distributed intelligence,” said Michael Anderson, senior vice president for utility sales and market development at Echelon. That ability, he added, will “help utilities better manage outages and protect revenue.”