Technology Record - Issue 30: Autumn 2023

152 VIEWPOINT Forward-thinking power companies are using data, the cloud and other digital technologies to cut their emissions and generate cost savings DOUGLAS NUNEZ: AVEVA A smarter power industry will fuel a sustainable future The global power industry is undergoing rapid transformational changes. Not surprisingly, the most pressing of these changes is the urgent need to shift away from traditional, fossil fuel-powered plants toward more sustainable energy sources. Across the globe, power companies are also battling rising capital budget constraints as well as the need to train a new generation of employees to ensure reliable and flexible operations. Furthermore, power companies must manage these challenges all while maximising the output of their fleets to keep up with growing demands for electrification. The good news is that these mounting pressures are inspiring innovation throughout the industry. Leading companies are turning to new digital technologies that are working together in collaborative cloud environments to pioneer more agile, resilient and sustainable electric grids. To overcome the industry’s biggest obstacles, power producers are adopting new digital solutions to address four key strategic objectives. The first goal is to build an industrial information infrastructure. Power producers are fostering a data-driven decision-making culture by integrating and contextualising all sources of engineering and operations data into a single platform, which improves data security, availability and accessibility. Energy consulting firm ZGlobal and Silicon Valley Clean Energy in California, USA, adopted AVEVA Data Hub and turned their business ecosystem into a data-sharing community. The software is natively built on Microsoft Azure and uses on-premises data from AVEVA PI System. The group’s new cloud-based datasharing solution increases security and simplifies the process of sharing data sets with multiple parties. The platform has improved data transparency, collaboration and trust among multiple organisations, while saving stakeholders thousands of dollars. In addition, power producers are striving to improve the efficiency of capital expenditures. With advanced engineering and simulation tools, engineers can collaborate on design in real time, which promotes efficiency, reduces errors and shortens engineering cycles so that power producers can complete new capital projects faster and with fewer risks and budget overruns. “Power producers are increasingly adopting AI-enriched analytics, process optimisation solutions and other digital technologies”