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Smart Grid rollout in the Netherlands

Smart Grid Technology

Smart Grid Technology

The European Network for Cyber Security (ENCS) and Elster today announced that they will collaborate with leading Dutch energy network provider, Alliander, to provide a proof-of-concept pilot project to demonstrate advanced Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET) for Smart Metering networks. Responsible for the regional distribution of electricity and gas to 3.3 million customers in the Netherlands, Alliander is currently developing and implementing Smart Metering and Smart Grid infrastructures. Elster will be supplying an end-to-end, market-ready solution for the PET pilot, which forms part of Alliander’s small-scale Smart Meter rollout that commenced in the first half of 2012.

ENCS selected Elster for their implementation of the PET protocols on the Elster AS300 multi-utility smart electricity meter and the Elster EnergyICT EIServer, a meter management head-end solution, for Alliander’s PET pilot. The PET protocols use cryptographic methods optimized specifically for aggregating data, which means any information collected from Smart Meters is unusable until aggregated with measurements from other meters. This will allow Alliander to meet, and even exceed, the strict privacy requirements mandated in the Netherlands, while simultaneously being able to perform advanced grid management and optimization based on the metering data.

“The transition to a clean energy economy requires a smarter grid and maintaining consumer trust and confidence with respect to privacy and security concerns is central to our Smart Meter and Smart Grid program,” says Richard de Vries, Manager, Asset Innovation and Information at Alliander.

Alliander is a founding member of ENCS, which is an independent European private-public collaboration formed to develop the most effective ways of increasing the cyber security and safety of critical digital infrastructures. The Alliander/ENCS PET pilot aims to validate the applicability of PETs for Smart Metering and Smart Grid, to determine to what extent this new technology is beneficial to Alliander and other grid companies and what needs to be adapted to maximize its benefit.

Alliander is also the first distribution grid operator to obtain a Data Privacy and Security certification.

“As well as assuring end-user privacy, utilities will benefit in a number of ways when implementing PET,” said Frank Hyldmar, Executive Vice President for Electricity, Elster; and Jouke Eikelboom, CEO at ENCS. “Utilities will be able to achieve compliance with privacy and data security legislation at lower cost, as well as enabling use cases in a privacy friendly manner.”

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