Norwegian utility partners on smart grid pilot

Power utility Agder Energi partnered with smart grid solutions firm Powel AS and technology firm Microsoft to implement a smart grid pilot in Norway.

The three parties are aiming to develop a flexible and intelligent grid network able to meet customer demands and environmental policies in future.

The project aims to develop a solution capable of increasing integration of renewable energy sources onto the utility’s grid to reduce carbon emissions.

The smart grid pilot will test how technology can be used to help Agder Energi meet its growing power demand especially during peak periods.

The new technology is expected to assist the utility improve customer service by helping its consumers save energy and money.

Powel AS integrated Microsoft’s solutions PowerBI, Azure IoT Hub and Azure Intelligent cloud into a single platform to help Agder Energi deploy and manage new distributed energy sources.

The combined some is expected to provide the utility company with real time insight into how its energy sources are used.

[quote] Bard Benum, CEO of PowelAS, said his firm is “…acting as the integration and forecasting partner in this project to seamlessly integrate Agder’s SCADA to the Azure IoT Hub, provide demand forecasts, and production forecasts for wind and solar in the region.”

Tom Nysted, CEO of Agder Energi, added: “At Agder Energi we want to use new technology to make the power grid more efficient, more predictable and more flexible. We will go from being energy generators to energy partners, with a more active role for our customers.” [Norwegian utility and NIB sign €47m smart meter deal].

Distributed energy sources tech development

The news follows an announcement by Microsoft, that it has partnered with home electronics provider Luminous to develop a suite of mobile and web applications for solar inverter technology.

The mobile and web applications, powered by the Microsoft Azure Hyperscale cloud, are reported to actively monitor power savings, battery health, and also run predictive maintenance enabling greater energy savings.

The Indian home electronics provider’s next generation connected solar inverter is powered by an Internet of Things platform “iQu” from start-up company iBot Control Systems.

According to Microsoft, the iQu IoT platform is designed for “high volume and highly distributed IOT deployments, enterprise grade security and in-built cellular connectivity and the connected Solar Inverter will provide real-time access to usage monitoring hence enabling Luminous’ customers to maximize ROI on their investments.”


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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.