BluWave-ai leads $6m smart-grid consortium
September 4, 2019
Canadian start-up BluWave-ai is leading a $6m smart grid modernisation project consortium to improve the integration and return on investment of distributed energy resources for grid utilities worldwide.
This artificial intelligence (AI) technology can directly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is the primary funding partner for BluWave-ai on this project with a $2.43m investment. The contributing partners in the consortium include: the city of Summerside on Prince Edward Island; Hydro Ottowa; and Indian conglomerate Tata Power.
“SDTC is the perfect example of government and industry working closely together to foster Canadian based innovation to increase the adoption of renewable energy at home and abroad and to reinvent Canada’s energy economy for this century,” said Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of environment and climate change. “We are extremely privileged to have this opportunity to support BluWave-ai on what is both a national and international journey to realise more sustainable energy choices.”
This project builds on the AI-enabled optimisation capabilities of BluWave-ai’s platform which predicts, optimises and continuously improves upon recommendations for the best use of available energy sources while accounting for constant fluctuations in generation, load and energy pricing. Results with utilities have shown that the accurate prediction and dispatch optimisation increases use of renewable energy and improves efficiencies by 10 to 20%.
BluWave-ai can increase the use of renewable energy sources and energy storage systems in large scale wind and solar facilities, and distributed grid-attached microgrids at campuses and commercial sites.
First introduced in 2017, the software products are operational in multiple locations worldwide, thus leveraging five US PTO patents that apply AI to renewable energy systems. These products will be further enhanced through the consortium partners and deployed in their networks over a 2.5-year period.
"Our utility will transform from an operator of legacy distribution networks to a two-way transactional energy and data smart grid," said Mark Fernandes, CIO of Hydro Ottawa. “To achieve this, we have been working with BluWave-ai to add distributed intelligence at the substation and back office levels to deal with the proliferation of distributed energy resources (DERs). This will not only propel Hydro Ottawa into the future, but will drive Canadian innovation for global DER transformed utilities.”
Bob Ashley, city manager at Summerside, added: “We have been on the forefront of Canadian smart grid innovation as the premier municipal utility deploying captive wind energy generation, smart load management and advanced metering and IT systems. We are seeing substantial savings since the introduction of BluWave-ai edge and centre products, which apply artificial intelligence to reduce the import of grid power, increase the use of wind energy and optimise storage. Over the next two years, we anticipate added savings through the introduction of additional advanced modules which will further optimise our energy usage.”
BluWave-ai technology reduces emissions by displacing non-renewable energy sources. For example, with a BluWave-ai deployment in a typical city of one million people, including 20 large deployments at colleges, hospitals, airports, commercial and industrial sites, forecasted yearly savings in greenhouse-gas emissions would be the equivalent of taking 3600 vehicles off the road. Through scale-out to cities worldwide, the technologies could reduce carbon emissions by a forecasted 2.8 million tonnes by 2029.
“The applications for artificial intelligence are expanding quickly and that includes uses in renewable energy,” said Leah Lawrence, SDTC president and CEO. “BluWave-ai is leading the way in using data and AI to add and more seamlessly integrate wind and solar energy into our electricity grids in Canada.”
Renewables have the fastest growth rate in the electricity sector, providing almost 30% of global power demand by 2023, according to the International Energy Agency. With the help of SDTC funding, this project puts BluWave-ai in the position to capitalise on, and influence, this industry trajectory while enhancing its product offerings. BluWave-ai’s products are available for other deployments with utilities and microgrids in addition to the project consortium partners.
“We will take AI-optimised solutions developed with Canadian utilities and will deploy and adapt them using machine learning techniques to international weather, pricing, regulatory and demand patterns,” said Devashish Paul, CEO and founder of BluWave-ai. “The time is right to take our Canadian based innovation global with support from SDTC.”