Zpryme: Cisco Q&A on the European Smart Grid


With its new Tomorrow Starts Here campaign in full swing and recent announcements such as expanded solutions to its Connected Grid portfolio based on the Cisco GridBlocks™ architecture to help utilities modernize their electrical grid, Zpryme reached out to thought leader, Leonardo Von Prellwitz, Manager, Strategy & Planning for Cisco about the state of the smart grid across Europe.

[ZP] How does Cisco view the smart grid?

[CISCOAs the worldwide leader in networking, Cisco views the Smart Grid through the lens of the communication platform, which is a pivotal element in the merger between IT and OT. We bring more than 25 years of experience to develop highly secure, reliable, and scalable communications solutions. The Connected Energy Networks Business Unit offers an end-to-end portfolio of communication infrastructure solutions and professional services to help power companies and grid operators achieve more value from their operations on a multi-service, intelligent, and highly secure network platform. For instance, Cisco has developed the industry’s first multi-service communications infrastructure for field area networks (FANs). This supports applications such as advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and distribution automation, as well as workforce automation over a common network platform.

By converging multiple existing communication channels into a single multi-service platform Cisco aims to minimize overall Total Cost of Ownership and at the same time generate synergies among contiguous applications.

[ZP] What was the greatest win for the European smart grid in 2012?

[CISCO] I think that the Grid4EU project, which was launched end of 2011 and got underway throughout 2012 can be considered a watershed for Smart Grids in Europe. Designed in response to a call for projects from the European Commission (EC) and costing €54 M overall (€25 coming from the EC), it is the biggest smart grid project to be funded by the European Union.

Grid4EU brings together a consortium of 6 European energy distributors (ERDF, Enel Distribuzione, Iberdrola, CEZ Distribuce, Vattenfall distribution and RWE) and the who’s who in Smart Grid vendors.

This project will test the potential of grids in areas such as renewable energy integration, electric vehicle development, grid automation, energy storage, energy efficiency and load reduction. The emphasis will be on fostering complementarity between these projects, and on promoting transversal research and sharing results between the different energy distributors involved.

See the rest of the Q&A: here

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