- Smart Grid
Analytics and AI Fuel the Smarter Smart Grid
The smart grid keeps getting smarter. Driven by the increasing blend of analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), recent stakeholder activity underscores this trend and should result in more efficient grid operations and new insights for utility customers in coming months and years.
Itron Collaborates with Bidgely and Grid4C
Global smart meter giant Itron sits at the center of the analytics-AI trend. Itron has a new partnership in place with Bidgely that aims to integrate smart meter data with Bidgely’s UtiltyAI platform. The partners plan to use Bidgely’s AI techniques for disaggregating load data to determine appliance-level energy consumption and energy attributes. For utilities, the integrated solution will enable them to provide customers with granular and personalized energy profiles while also improving overall grid intelligence.
“By collaborating with Bidgely, we will equip utilities with precise insights into energy usage,” says Don Reeves, senior vice president of outcomes at Itron. “With this combined solution that can be deployed rapidly and cost-effectively, utilities will be able to educate their consumers about energy habits and drive customer engagement to utilize energy more resourcefully.”
In a separate arrangement, Itron is collaborating with energy analytics provider Grid4C in an effort to boost the use of advanced grid analytics. The collaborative effort calls for Grid4C to embed its predictive analytics software solutions within Itron Riva smart meters to solve the next-generation use cases in real time, and in particular at the edge of the grid. “We can help plan and optimize distributed energy resources in real time at the edge of the grid, prevent faults both on the grid side and on the consumer side, and help consumers manage their energy better,” says Dr. Noa Ruschin-Rimini, Grid4C founder and CEO.
Acquisitions by Oracle and Kosh Engineered Studios
Oracle is another technology giant focused on enhancing grid intelligence. In this case, Oracle is acquiring LiveData Utilities, a smaller software provider steeped in real-time and high volume data flows and advanced analytics. Oracle intends to combine LiveData Utilities’ solutions with Oracle Utilities’ own Network Management System offering in a bid to make it easier for utility customers to control and securely manage both legacy and next-generation devices. The transaction is expected to close within the next few weeks.
Lastly, Koch Engineered Solutions recently acquired Sentient Energy to bolster its strategic effort to become a preferred provider of innovative technical and service solutions to electric utilities. Sentient Energy is noted for offering utility customers a combination of easily deployed power line sensors with management and analytics applications to help utilities detect faults, prevent problems, and deliver dependable power.
Analytics and AI represent key technologies to enhance the capabilities of the current and future grid. These recent moves by stakeholders highlight the importance vendors and utilities place on these software tools as well as the acceleration in adoption of AI and analytics overall. The growing adoption validates Guidehouse's view of the journey toward Energy Cloud 4.0, and it supports what my colleagues have envisioned in white papers such as Building-to-Grid and From Smart Grid to Neural Grid.