High penetration of variable and non-programmable distributed generation has brought new challenges to the power system operation and is highlighting the need of a smarter grid. One of the key requirements in this regard is developing and deploying smart metering systems in distribution networks. In this paper we present the actual situation in the Italian distribution networks and we discuss the opportunities and challenges of applying new metering systems and introducing a flexible, multi-utility, multi-service metering architecture. Some off-the-shelf or prototype smart meters, selected to be tested in an ongoing European project, named FLEXMETER, are presented.
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