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Smart grid uses machine-to-machine (M2M) communication infrastructures and advanced control techniques for improved power distributions and management. Different types of communication schemes could possibly be used for smart grid applications, but need to be further explored in smart grid application scenarios. In this paper, we present the utilization of a zero correlation zone (ZCZ) CDMA based scheme in M2M communications for the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) in smart grid. We design the ZCZ code generation and distribution through mutual authentication in the initialization procedure before data transmission. We examine the security and efficiency aspects of the proposed ZCZ CDMA based scheme. The paper concludes with the comparison of the proposed scheme and the legacy approach for the system security and performance in smart grid M2M communications.