When France’s biggest electricity distributor, Enedis, launched the “Linky Project” in 2017 to replace 35 million residential meters with smart meters, they were going beyond EU requirements to set the foundation for the country's future smart grid.
The era of the smart meter
When the European Union adopted the Energy Service Directive (2006/32/EC) in April 2006, the goal was for Member States to improve energy end-use efficiency in a cost-effective manner. Article 13 of this Directive required member states to ensure that the final consumers for electricity, natural gas, district heating and/or for cooling and domestic hot water are offered competitively priced individual meters that accurately reflected actual energy consumption in real time. This was only possible to achieve through smart meters. Smart meters are like Swiss Military knives of the electricity world, which offer myriad features benefiting both the energy distributors and the end users.
Above and beyond
Like the UK, Italy, Spain and other EU Member States, France too decided to replace all electricity meters with smart meters. However, Enedis, France’s biggest electricity distributor, who allocates electricity to 95% of French municipalities, decided to go further than the EU requirements of the time. With a long-term vision, Enedis decided that they needed a state-of-the-art meter that would cater to the needs of the future smart grid. The company has set a target to replace 100% of the 35 million residential meters with smart meters by 2023.
The Linky Project:
Extraordinary plans require extra-ordinary solutions. Hence, the company decided to produce a customized meter called Linky together with their longstanding partner Landis + Gyr. Linky's G3-PLC connectivity enabled faster and cost-effective data transfer over existing power lines every half-hourly (Enedis’ target is to collect 3 billion data sets daily). With its high resilience against disruption and automatic adaptability to changes in network conditions, Linky's G3-PLC connectivity made it very stable and reliable. The new meters helped increase operational efficiencies, improve quality of supply and boost response times when things go wrong on the network.
A smart grid for the future
Despite the size of Enedis' grid modernization plan, the Linky project was just the first step in the French DSO’s plan. Enedis is optimistic about using the smart metering data for renewable energy integration, Linky prosumers, electric vehicles and new digital business opportunities. Among other projects, Enedis also began rolling out the E550 for building their AMI for commercial & industrial customers and by 2035 and plan to power 9 million electric vehicles, with a network of 12 million charging stations.
Download the case study to learn more about the Linky project, including the solution itself, challenges they had to overcome, and future prospects.