Utilities: Time to get on the optimization bandwagon

Tools

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Here's an article penned by the CEO of a company that has built an optimization engine that works for many different industries, including electric power. I wanted to run it not to spotlight any company in particular, but to underline the growing sophistication of grid optimization options. Sophisticated solutions are emerging from national laboratories, universities, non-profit research companies, established grid vendors and innovative startups like the one highlighted here. – Jesse Berst

 

By Roei Ganzarski

 

The US Energy Information Administration expects that the global energy market will see demand grow by more than half its present level by 2035 because of a growing world population. This increased demand and consumption will exceed the renewable rate at which many resources can be produced and the overall sustainability of today’s culture could be in danger. More demand and a dwindling supply of nonrenewable resources is cause for concern and cities need to start taking action now to minimize the risk.

 

Typically, utilities match demand by increasing supply and the infrastructure to support it, but there are other options that can save valuable time, money and resources. Instead of spending capital to build additional generators and power plants to continue producing enough energy to meet rising demands, power companies should learn to optimize their resources to maximize their availability.

 

New optimization technologies

New dynamic real-time optimization technologies are available to disrupt how energy firms think about their grid and how they handle unforeseen interruptions.

 

Dynamic real-time resource optimization software was leveraged in a test of data from a large energy-focused organization in the Pacific Northwest. The test sought to learn how to meet network level loads while reducing overall operating costs and use of network assets. In a testing environment, the optimization software delivered in a matter of seconds and in some cases milliseconds, a nine-day hour by hour resource use plan for its 128 power sources.