Microsoft working to enable the power grid of the future

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 06 October 2016
Microsoft working to enable the power grid of the future

Microsoft has entered into a new pilot project with the aim of helping to create the efficient, flexible and intelligent grid of the future.

Working with Agder Energi and Powel, the project aims to create a smart grid solution using intelligent technology. This will help prepare the grid for renewable integration and enable it to adapt to growing energy consumption.

The pilot project sees expertise from Norwegian solution supplier Powel combined with the Microsoft Azure intelligent cloud, PowerBI and Azure IoT Hub. This combination will provide Agder Energi, a Norwegian energy supplier, with the tools required to improve the dispatch of new energy resources, such as device controls and predictive forecasting.

“At Agder Energi we want to use new technology to make the power grid more efficient, more predictable and more flexible,” said Tom Nysted, CEO of Agder Energi. “We will go from being energy generators to energy partners, with a more active role for our customers. Together with our partners at Microsoft and Powel, we will use innovation to solve the challenges facing the grid.”

Power grids require large investment in order to keep pace with modern energy consumption. The new pilot will demonstrate how utilities companies can implement intelligent cloud-based smart grid solutions to unlock a host of energy and sustainability benefits.

The smart grid solution will also enable energy savings, and help integrate renewable energy to the grid mix.

“We are applying our strong domain expertise and acting as the integration and forecasting partner in this project to seamlessly integrate Agder’s SCADA to the Azure IoT Hub, provide demand forecasts, and production forecasts for wind and solar in the region,” said Bård Benum, CEO of Powel. “We are thrilled to be working closely together with Agder Energi and Microsoft to help enable radical innovation in the utility sector.”

The pilot will be run from an Agder Energi substation, with the technology being used to allow operators to better predict demand, engage resources, and in time reduce substation demand to save money.

“Renewable energy resources and advancements in intelligent cloud technology are driving a digital transformation of grid operations to explore new business models,” said Kevin Dallas, Microsoft corporate vice president of IoT Business Development. “Enabling solutions like Agder’s will accelerate widespread renewable and distributed power generation. It’s a bright future for the utility industry and for a sustainable world.”

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