Powering the future: Sue Quense on how AVEVA is optimising energy

Powering the future: Sue Quense on how AVEVA is optimising energy

Microsoft-powered tools are helping energy firms build solid data foundations to improve operations 

Rebecca Gibson |

There’s one question that keeps energy providers up at night: how can we enhance energy efficiency? As the global energy landscape evolves, the answer requires consideration of challenges related to power supply, demand, weather conditions and the integration of renewable energy sources with traditional power grids.

Sue Quense, chief commercial officer at AVEVA, explains how the company is working with Microsoft to help energy firms build solid data foundations to optimise energy use. 

How can technology help to create more efficient energy grids?

The physical grid is becoming less centralised and now includes both renewable and conventional power, so flexibility and  
visibility are increasingly critical. Our traditional grid infrastructure needs more reliability and resilience.

By leveraging the cloud and artificial intelligence-powered insights to analyse power supply and demand, consumption patterns and weather conditions, utilities providers can optimise load balancing, increase reliability, reduce power wastage and identify opportunities for energy conservation. These types of innovative technologies are crucial in helping utilities providers to operate, manage and maintain the grid more efficiently, reduce costs and benefit from more accurate forecasting and prediction, so they can proactively prepare for any unexpected disruptions.

Why is building a solid data foundation critical?

Power plant operators, grid managers and operational engineers need to be able to access masses of real-time and historical data.  

Real-time data sharing has emerged as the linchpin solution for connecting key stakeholders to enable better insights. They are analysing and sharing this information to make faster and more informed decisions that drive resilience, agility and profitability. To maximise the value of data, it is essential for power firms to have a solid infrastructure framework that can manage increasingly complex data in a secure and scalable way.

How are AVEVA and Microsoft working together to help clients?

Microsoft and AVEVA have been at the forefront of digital transformation in the energy sector. By combining the power of AI, digital twins, big data and sector-specific analytics with the cloud, the two companies enable enhanced human insights and empower energy customers to develop data-driven innovations and facilitate real-time collaboration.  

AVEVA and Microsoft also help companies use digital metrics to uncover potential new revenue streams. For example, US-based utilities provider Dominion Energy used AVEVA Data Hub powered by Microsoft Azure to gather and share real-time data about its energy sources and power flows with its customers via a cloud interface, helping them to comply with their net-zero commitments. Using trackable sustainability data, Dominion’s customers were able to provide proof of their low-carbon energy supplies to investors and environmental, social and governance auditors, creating a revenue source for Dominion.  

Dominion Energy

Dominion Energy uses AVEVA Data Hub to share real time data about its energy sources

Around half of the recipients of the US Department of Energy’s first round of Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships program funding are AVEVA customers. How can you help these clients innovate?

From the announcement last year, we have seen nearly $3.5 billion in investments through the GRIP programme for 58 projects across 44 states to strengthen the electric grid resilience and reliability across the country. These projects will help address our electric grids’ three major challenges: an aging infrastructure, increased threat of extreme weather events including wildfires, hurricanes and flooding, and consistent underfunding to replace and modernise existing systems. This is a historic investment. It’s the largest single direct investment in the grid in American history.  

Every single project – including wildfire mitigation and resilience, microgrids, renewables integration – will generate more data and will need a mature data management and analytics platform to achieve the project milestone in a timely manner and successfully. AVEVA’s proven technology and experience in the utility industry can certainly play a vital role.  

Optimised, dynamic grids are key to a sustainable global future. How is AVEVA working to enable and empower the next generation of energy companies?

Within the emerging power industry, there are many areas where AVEVA Data Hub, available through our industrial intelligence platform, Connect, will play a critical role. By building up a single source of truth and sharing aggregated data securely with ecosystem partners, companies can build stronger, more connected networks. 

What’s more, our digital twin technology can add exponential value to the modern grid ecosystem. A digital twin of the smart grid network can serve as the virtual representation of its physical and digital components – such as generation, transmission, distribution, consumer and distributed energy resources assets – so that stakeholders can analyse, predict and react to operation events dynamically.  

The utility sector’s resilience lies in its ability to embrace data-powered insights within a connected and trusted stakeholder community.

Discover how Dominion Energy leverages AVEVA Data Hub

This article was originally published in the Spring 2024 issue of Technology Record. To get future issues delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.   

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