Intelligent grid pilot for Norway

Pilot project will operate from one substation but will have global relevance for the industry and end-users


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The pilot could see Norway leading the way in energy and the IoT
The pilot could see Norway leading the way in energy and the IoT

Agder Energi wants to shift from just producing energy to becoming "an energy partner"

Intelligent technology aims to make it easier to integrate renewable energy into the grid mix

Norway’s third largest energy producer, Agder Energi, is collaborating with technology companies Microsoft and Powel AS on a pilot project that aims to use intelligent technology to create a pioneering smart grid solution of the future.

Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform Azure, PowerBI and Azure IoT Hub, combined with expertise from Powel and Agder Energi subsidiary Enfo, will improve the integration of new energy resources, including control of devices in the network and predictive forecasts for situational awareness.

“We want to avail ourselves of new technology to make mains more efficiently, more predictable and more flexible,” said CEO of Agder Energi, Tom Nysted. “We want to take the step from just producing energy to become an energy partner with a more active role in relation to our customers. Together with our partners in Microsoft and Powel we want to be innovative in the way we solve challenges with mains.”

While there have been enormous advances in energy technology in the last decade, the electrical network in Norway and worldwide has not seen the same progress. The pilot will demonstrate how grid operators can implement intelligent cloud-based network solutions to achieve a number of benefits. It will enable energy-savings and easier integration of renewable energy to the grid mix and also mean economic benefits for the end customer by reducing expensive peak load during periods of high demand.

The pilot will be operated from one of the Agder Energi substations which is already up to 120 per cent of its capacity several times a year. The technology will make it easier for operators to predict demand and adopt distributed resources. This will result in reduced wear on the substation.

The parties expect to build on these results in the future so that they can perform automatic balancing of renewable energy and peak load control in near real time.

Although the project is focused on a particular substation with load challenges, this is not a unique problem. Widespread use of software for network operations, which effectively manages new energy sources as a network of IoT resources, has the potential to mitigate the cost of new hardware infrastructure for the Norwegian power grid. The partners aim to demonstrate a digital restructuring that will make it possible for others in the industry to look to Norway as a leading example in energy and Internet of Things.

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