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Landis+Gyr, a provider of smart metering and grid management solutions, has signed a cooperation agreement with German utility EnBW to pilot smart metering systems that meet German data protection requirements.

According to Landis+Gyr, the agreement includes provisions for EnBW to test the functionalities of a newly developed smart metering system in laboratories and the field. Tests will commence this year.

The company notes that prototypes of part of an end-to-end security system - a gateway - will be tested according to the guidelines set out by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). Separately, EnBW will conduct tests on a smart residential meter and administration software for the gateway.

"We are working together on a solution that not only meets Germany's data protection requirements, which are the strictest in the world, but a solution that is state of the art technologically and in terms of functionality," says Andreas Umbach, CEO of Landis+Gyr.

"Our gateway development makes it possible for the first time to test how a BSI solution operates both in the laboratory and in the field and to make further developments in response to the knowledge acquired," he adds.

"The challenge is guaranteeing security of supply at all times, in spite of fluctuations in flow," comments Christoph Muller, member of the board of directors at EnBW Regional. "Today's metering systems can make an important contribution to the shift in energy use through actively involving customers. As central components of intelligent networks, they help to achieve a better balance between decentralized energy generation and demand for energy. They also offer customers more transparency with regard to their energy consumption."

Landis+Gyr reports that the cooperation agreement addresses the new regulatory requirements for smart meters, which are set out in the German Energy Act and the country's BSI Protection Profile. The company says that in 2011, as a result of changes to the Energy Act, the installation of smart metering systems became compulsory for end-consumers. The act states that smart metering systems that meet the data protection and security requirements of the BSI must be installed as soon as they become available on the market.

"In order that we can gain fundamental knowledge on the performance, potential uses and interoperability of the technology, we will install and run a total of 10,000 smart metering endpoints in Baden-Wurttemberg so that we can record, manage and monitor energy consumption," says Werner Vorderwulbecke, managing director of EnBW Operations. "At the same time, gateway administration software will be put in place."

Landis+Gyr says a pilot project will start in the middle of 2015 to study the suitability of the smart metering systems and system processes for the mass market, as well as their compatibility potential. The company expects an extensive market rollout of the smart metering systems starting in 2016.

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