Twelve major players in the smart grid industry are announcing a new global partnership at the Metering Europe Conference in Amsterdam (October 4 - 6, 2011) to support the deployment of the new power line communications protocol called G3-PLC. The partners in the association are led by major players in the smart grid sector, including Enexis, ERDF, Maxim Integrated Products, STMicroelectronics, Texas Instruments, Cisco, Itron, Landis & Gyr, Nexans, Sagemcom, EDF R&D and Trialog.
The new Power Line Communications (PLC) technology transmits digital information through electrical power
lines using OFDM (orthogonal frequency division multiplexing) and is widely acknowledged to be the most
reliable, secure and cost effective mode of communication for the smart grid today. This new technology, defined
to solve the challenges of tomorrow’s smart grid, has been adopted as the basis for several major standards
such as IEEE, ITU and IEC/CENELEC which offer interoperability with the current G3-PLC specification available
today. G3-PLC products are currently available from major semiconductor and equipment manufacturers and it is
being field tested by several major utilities and organizations worldwide, including ERDF in France.
The alliance was formed to support G3-PLC’s rapid adoption by utilities worldwide in various smart grid
applications such as automatic meter management, EV charging, home energy management, lighting control
and grid monitoring.
Michele Bellon, G3-PLC Alliance President, also President of ERDF, stated “The formation of the G3-PLC
Alliance is an essential step towards smart grids. By attracting leaders across the spectrum of the smart grid
industry, we will be able to drive worldwide adoption and help reduce energy consumption. We ask other industry
players to join our partnership and support this initiative.”
Just as with other ubiquitous communications standards, WiFi and Bluetooth for example, this Alliance has been
created in order to drive widespread adoption of G3-PLC by enabling rapid development up and down the entire
electric power ecosystem.
Chief among the Alliance’s goals are:
- Promote G3-PLC in Internationally recognized standards organizations (IEEE, ITU, IEC, ISO, etc.)
- Promote G3-PLC technical features, performance, and overall value
- Organize certification tests and programs
- Organize and operate the industry users group to maintain the G3-PLC specification and to insure
- Support utilities in the deployment of the new G3-PLC communications protocol in their respective
- Promote G3-PLC in other applications such as home/building energy management; home
automation; vehicle-to-grid and vehicle-to-charging station communications; lighting control and
management; factory automation, and optimization of smart grid performance
G3-PLC is a global open power line communication protocol specifically designed for smart grid communications.
It enables smart meter management, control and monitoring of the electrical distribution network, energy
management, EV charging, lighting control as well as other smart grid applications.
The G3-PLC is designed to operate in 10-490 kHz frequency bands and it is compliant with CENELEC, FCC and
ARIB regulatory bodies. It was designed to meet the following requirements:
• Robustness: communications profile suited to operate in severe noisy environments such as low–
voltage lines, long-range communications in medium-voltage lines, and especially to enable
communication across MV-LV transformers
• Performance: Bi-directional digital communication with data rate up to 300 Kbps
• Simplicity: simple to implement, install (Plug-and-Play), operate and maintain
• Security: it offers a safe environment using AES-128 cryptography engine
• Scalability: Supports IPv6 for new internet-based energy management systems and applications
• Cost: ability to cross MV-LV transformers reduces the number of data concentrators. High speed
communication over very long distances reduces the number of repeaters required
More information at
Electric Utility Enexis www.enexis.nl/site
Equipment Manufacturer Cisco http://www.cisco.com/en/US/hmpgs/index.html
Landis Gyr http://www.landisgyr.com/en/pub/home.cfm
Semiconductor Supplier Maxim Int’gd Products www.maxim-ic.com/products/powerline/g3-plc
R&D Contributors EDF http://www.edf.com/the-edf-group-42667.html
For more information on G3-PLC and how to join please visit www.G3-PLC.com
For more information on ERDF please visit www.erdfdistribution.fr/Accueil