American electricity supplier National Grid has chosen smart grid solution from Itron which uses Cisco’s multi-application communications network for a smart grid pilot program in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The utility’s 10,000 meter pilot project adds to the 5,000 meter early field trial that started in February 2012 in Worcester. The full pilot deployment will begin in early 2013.

The smart grid pilot project of National Grid aims at evaluating the integration of home automation, dynamic pricing and distribution automation as a mechanism to reliability and cost-effectiveness through energy awareness.

Customers could access their detailed energy usage information gather in the pilot through internet, with cell phone applications or other technologies installed in homes and businesses.

National Grid, Itron and Cisco have collaborated during the early field trial to test and showcase the capabilities of the new IPv6 communication network.

Itron global smart grid and business development VP Russ Vanos stated, "The results of this pilot will surely influence the industry as we look to evolve smart grid communications from proprietary systems to true multi-application networks built on open standards."

National Grid Asset Management vice president Cheri Warren highlighted that the early field trial results were satisfactory.

"Our goal from the beginning has been to test and validate the smart grid solution before we fully deploy it to our customers," Warren added.

"We look forward to working with Itron and Cisco on this next phase of implementing our Smart Grid Pilot Program."