National Grid is collaborating on a project with Itron to build and evaluate an advanced smart grid in Massachusetts using a new generation of standards-based network technology.

The two companies will collaborate to field test the multi-application capabilities of the new Itron-Cisco IPv6 based smart grid solution, including advanced metering, home area networking (HAN) and distribution automation (DA). By leveraging the Cisco GridBlocks Architecture, the solution will deliver these applications over a common network infrastructure designed to eliminate the need for proprietary or vendor-specific integration of applications and devices.

As part of the project, Itron and National Grid will thoroughly test system functionality and demonstrate the interoperability advantages of the Itron-Cisco IPv6-based solution by working in concert with third-party HAN and DA devices. National Grid will utilize the system to evaluate advanced metering; demand response; time-based pricing; in-home devices and web tools; network monitoring; meter data management and presentment; and advanced analytics.