Smart meter and smart grid deployments have risen significantly during 2011, particularly in North America. A number of large projects have been announced and key vendors have been selected to provide utilities with meters, communications modules, and meter data management services. Smart meter shipments in China continue to grow as well.

According to a new tracker report from Pike Research, the second and third quarters of 2011 included advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) smart meter announced deployments covering several million customers from three major utilities in North America. Consumers Energy chose SmartSynch to help it build an AMI system for 1.8 million customers in Michigan; and in Canada, BC Hydro selected Itron to supply 1.8 million new meters over the next 2 years, while Hydro-Quebec chose Landis+Gyr to supply the bulk of the 3.75 million smart meters it plans to deploy over the next 5 years. According to Pike Research’s analysis, global smart meter shipments reached 19.2 million in 3Q 2011, which represents a 5.3% increase over 2Q 2011.

“Global smart grid deployments continue to enjoy strong growth momentum, particularly those involving smart meter rollouts,” says senior analyst Neil Strother. “Projects continue to expand in the United States and Canada, and we are seeing the beginning stages of a massive smart meter deployment in China.”

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that in North America, Landis+Gyr maintained its leadership position with a 25% share of cumulative smart meter vendor selections, in terms of total endpoints, as of 3Q 2011. The vendor was helped in a significant way by its win at Hydro-Quebec. Itron was in second place with 22% of cumulative utility selections, and Sensus and GE Energy were tied for third place, each holding a 16% share of selections as of 3Q 2011.