Smart meters to replace more than 13 million traditional electricity meters in houses over a period of six years
GENEVA, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), one of the world's leading semiconductor manufacturers and the number one supplier worldwide of power-management solutions, has announced that it has been chosen by Enel, Italy's largest power company, to provide the semiconductor components for new electronic power meters destined for distribution in Spain. The power meters are key elements of the new remote management solution to be installed by Endesa, the largest electricity supplier in Spain.
Traditional electromechanical meters are based on a technology that is over a hundred years old and is unsuitable for further significant development. Electronic meters offer many significant advantages for the utilities and consumers, including lower costs for manufacturing, calibration and maintenance, greater accuracy and, most important, the ability to provide the consumer with detailed information based on their own real consumption and the electricity supplier with punctual service quality data. The benefits to both parties are concrete: consumers can more accurately monitor and control their consumption (for example, by using appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers or electric showers at times when the cost is lowest) and energy providers can generate and distribute power more efficiently.
Over a period of six years (2010-2015), Endesa will complete the replacement of more than 13 million traditional electricity meters, installed in its customers' houses, with the new generation of Enel smart meters. The new system is the result of the combined expertise of Endesa and Enel, its parent company, which together form the second-largest group in the European energy market. Enel has already successfully implemented a similar remote-management system, also using chips from ST, to serve more than 35 million customers in Italy.
"Enel, Endesa and ST have made great strides in this important project," said Carmelo Papa, Executive Vice President and General Manager of ST's Industrial and Multisegment Sector. "By applying ST's extensive portfolio and know-how, Endesa will use intelligent power metering to reduce the cost to the consumer while simultaneously increasing the efficiency of the electricity supply industry, thereby reducing Spain's carbon footprint."
ST will provide a complete smart-metering solution that includes a breakthrough power-line communication System-on-Chip (ST758x), which is the heart of the system, a powerful 32-bit microcontroller (STM32), and an innovative power-supply device, as well as MOSFET and EEPROM memory devices, as the basis of the new electronic power meter for Endesa.
Moreover, as announced by Enel, the Power Line Communication protocol (SITRED), applied in this new generation of remote meter management solutions, will be open to the market. In this way, the Enel Group will make available to all stakeholders, the first and unique remote meter-management solution, reliable and proven on more than 50 million meters worldwide. This is a fundamental and tangible step towards the standardization process launched by the European Community towards Smart Grid development.
The upcoming meter roll-out by Endesa places ST first in the line to exploit this new scenario, thanks to its long-standing relationship to provide Enel with innovative components.
ST is one of the few semiconductor companies in the world that can supply all of the devices and the system-level expertise needed to cost-effectively implement them in smart electricity meters. In addition to the new performing power-line modem platform, ST's portfolio includes a leading-edge microcontroller family to control the meter functions and several power supplies that meets the stringent regulations concerning noise and robustness plus other suitable devices.
STMicroelectronics is a global leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications with innovative semiconductor solutions. ST aims to be the undisputed leader in multimedia convergence and power applications leveraging its vast array of technologies, design expertise and combination of intellectual property portfolio, strategic partnerships and manufacturing strength. In 2008, the Company's net revenues were $9.84 billion. Further information on ST can be found at www.st.com.
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