Here are our Top Ten “takeaways” from the conference and how we see those shaping next generation of value from smart meter deployments. Of course, in keeping with New Orleans tradition, we’ve added 2 more for “lagniappe” (New Orleans vernacular for “a little something extra”).
- Bigger opportunities for AMI value realization – Affordable, advanced analytics extend the value proposition further upstream (broader optimization of energy procurement/ DERs integration) and can expand the value realization by 3-10X levels identified in current business cases.
- Rethinking load disaggregation – Leading utilities moving beyond traditional “appliance disaggregation” and end-use signatures, toward more dynamic modeling of internal and external drivers and sensitivities (more actionable insights with higher, faster returns).
- Value of customer analytics on the Grid – Bottom up load analytics and forecasting are becoming vital grid/ DERs optimization – and for most of the big box systems (ADMS, DERMS, etc.), this is still a BIG gap and an essential ingredient.
- Identifying and managing the impact of EVs and storage- Predictive load analytics will be key in managing these rapidly “moving targets.”
- Redefining the Edge – Today, we think up to the “grid edge.” What if we can incorporate the insights and machine learning directly into the customer end uses? Some fantastic new partnerships emerge quickly.
- More responsive analytics around weather and climate – Better defining and understanding how swings in climate and real-time changes in weather (including smoke and other environmental factors not traditionally thought of as weather) will affect short term planning and operating decisions on the grid.
- Transforming how we look at load forecasting (risk-centric lens) – Bottom-up/ blended approaches, integration of grid scale and customer scale DERs production forecasts, integrated pictures for planning and risk management – extending applications enterprise wide!
- Importance of regulatory changes and incentives to help monetize and harvest the gains from better analytics and forecasts.
- The value of open architectures – Solution providers opening the solution suite to use “best of breed” analytics and load intel – really moving from inside to “outside” the box.
- Reinventing the smart meter offer/ bundling strategies – Equipment manufacturers (current and emerging, here and globally) have recognized that meter analytics are critical to their growth strategy/ customer retention. Look for partnerships between meter providers and best of breed analytics firms that can extend value enterprise wide. A real “meter-as-a-service” play? Looks like it is almost here.
- A solution for those without smart meters? – Too many utilities have been hampered by the lag in reporting of meter data. Advances in the meter data analytics mean that real-time meter data is no longer critical for many of the highest value functions. Leaders are tapping into their pilot deployments as well as years of AMR to start unlocking value. Some are even considering deferring the AMI deployment, and using these analytics to strengthen the value case action solar install. Talk about harvesting untapped data – gotta love it!
- The lines between Retail Energy and Distribution Utilities are starting to blur – each one looking a little more like the other, and each needs the other to fully monetize its investments. AMI Analytics and predictive intel will be key to avoiding chaos as that evolves.
We can’t wait to see how all this plays out in the balance of 2019.
And Innowatts is excited to be at the center of that change.
We’d love to talk more and explore how you see some of this playing out in your own organizations. Email us at [email protected] or sign up for a demo by filling out the form.