The Role of AI Technology in the Renewable Energy Sector

Aashish Yadav | July 16, 2022 | 1111 views | Read Time : 03:28 min

The Role of AI Technology
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are two of the most commonly used commercial phrases these days. As a result, companies across sectors are searching for methods to include them in order to optimize and automate their key operations. The energy sector is no exception!

Indeed, throughout the years, renewable energy industries (wind, solar, hydro, nuclear) have substantially gained from the potential of machine learning. They were able to reduce their expenses, make better projections, and raise the rate of return on their portfolio. And this tendency is just going to gain momentum. If your company is in the energy industry or utilizes a lot of power, machine learning and AI can help you improve your business performance. But how precisely? Let's get started.


Ways in Which AI and Machine Learning are Changing Energy Sector

There are a few methods that machine learning and AI can be applied to positively improve the energy industry. Here are a few popular applications currently under development.


Predictive Maintenance

AI helps match energy output with demand and ensure power grid stability and resilience.In 2003, a low-hanging high-voltage electricity line hit an overgrown tree in Ohio, causing a widespread blackout. There was no power system alarm and no sign of the incident. The electric company didn't notice until three additional power lines failed. This carelessness ultimately brought down the whole grid. The 50 million-person blackout lasted two days. Eleven individuals died, and $6 billion was lost.


Predictive maintenance can be implemented using machine learning and IoT

Sensors gather operational time series data from electricity lines, equipment, and stations (data accompanied by a timestamp).

Machine learning algorithms can then forecast when a component will fail (or n-steps). It can also anticipate machinery's remaining usable life or future breakdown. These algorithms detect machine failure, eliminate blackouts or downtimes, improve maintenance procedures, and reduce maintenance expenses.


Grid Management

Grid management is a promising AI application in energy. Complex networks distribute electricity to users (also known as the power grid). Generation and demand must always match in the electrical system. Other issues, like blackouts and system breakdowns, can occur.

Despite being ancient, pumped hydroelectric storage is the most common way to store energy. It operates by moving water upwards and letting it fall into turbines. Renewable energy makes predicting the grid's power generation challenging. After all, it is affected by a variety of things, like sunlight and wind.


Demand Response

Large demand shifts can be expensive for nations that depend on renewable energy. As nations migrate to green energy, it's harder to adapt to demand fluctuations. Germany plans to use 80% renewable energy by 2050.

Countries such as Germany will encounter two major challenges Demand fluctuations: On some days or times of the year, power consumption soars (on Christmas, for example) Weather volatility: Without wind or clear skies, it might be hard to meet electrical demand. In both circumstances, more stations or fossil fuel-powered facilities must meet demand


Solving demand response issues

Many nations are partnering with businesses to examine weather forecasts, power demand, etc. Germany's EWeLiNE project forecasts wind and solar energy at a specific moment. This enables the government to use non-renewable energy to meet additional power demand.

They utilize enormous historical data sets to train machine learning algorithms, as well as data from wind turbines or solar panels, to properly balance supply and demand.


Closing Lines

AI increases the potential of humans. Several renewable energy producers are investing in artificial intelligence to boost their businesses.There are numerous uses of artificial intelligence in renewable energy. The fundamental purpose of AI integrated systems is to reduce forecasting issues and incorporate renewable energy into the central energy grid as effectively as possible. AI can also assist renewable energy providers in developing successful plans and policies based on present energy consumption and demand.

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EMC is a specialist clean energy company. We offer our clients professional energy engineering consulting and advisory services and renewable energy engineering design, construction, commissioning and monitoring services.

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As a result, businesses can lower site utility costs, reduce carbon impacts, provide energy resilience, and maximize savings and revenues for their customers.“From the beginning, we built Athena as an open, extensible platform and as the market evolves, Athena continues to be the trusted enterprise platform that maximizes outcomes across clean energy asset portfolios,” said Larsh Johnson, Chief Technology Officer at Stem. “Now with our seamlessly integrated storage, solar, and EV solutions and services, Athena is able to bring new and unique value streams to our customers that they’ve not been able to tap before.” Athena offers a comprehensive view across a broad array of clean energy assets delivering an extensive suite of applications and AI-powered capabilities to uncover further value across assets including: Unified experience across solar and storage assets: The Athena platform now includes AlsoEnergy’s market-leading PowerTrack as an integrated application, offering solar and storage asset owners and operators a unified experience to monitor, manage and dispatch their portfolios from a single pane of glass. Real-time situational awareness of the financial and technical performance, real-time status, and operational trends of systems and sites: Athena Supervisor provides system operators with a remote operations center platform with continuous, automated monitoring of the performance and health of systems. Actionable insights and a clear window into the value being delivered by energy assets: Asset owners and energy managers can monitor system performance, cost, and economic impact with Athena Explorer. This visibility aids in building long-term energy strategies to help achieve resilience, economic optimization, and sustainability goals. Unlock wholesale market revenue taking into consideration market-specific requirements and operational constraints to mitigate market risk. Asset owners who participate in wholesale markets rely on the forecasting accuracy and 24/7 automated bidding capabilities of Athena to help maximize revenues. Economic ownership and management of EV fleets while ensuring sustainability goals are met. Athena’s e-mobility solution seamlessly integrates storage, solar, and EV charging networks to unlock economic, environmental, and operating value. By offering hardware optionality, a clean energy optimization platform, and professional services, owners and operators can maximize EV charge delivery against multiple objectives and track the ongoing performance as an integrated system. Integrated Utility SCADA solutions that meet even the most stringent grid standards provide local site controls and human-machine interface (HMI) to effectively operate, maintain compliance, and minimize maintenance costs of large utility-scale projects. Paired with Athena PowerTrack, the integrated solution helps provide enhanced asset performance management to help increase energy harvest and asset value. “As we continue to scale our solar and energy storage business nationwide, Stem has become one of ForeFront Power’s preferred partners to fuel growth. For projects on which we select Stem as a partner, we’re looking forward to the integrated view of our assets and superior optimization that Athena plus PowerTrack will deliver to our customers,” -Michael Smith, CEO of ForeFront Power. 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Taylor Farms Taps Bloom Energy, Ameresco and Concept Clean Energy to Take California Fresh Vegetable Production Facility Off the Grid

Bloom Energy | September 22, 2022

Taylor Farms, North America’s largest producer of healthy fresh foods, has partnered with Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE), Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE: AMRC) and Concept Clean Energy to install a microgrid capable of taking one of their California food processing facilities completely off the traditional energy grid. The energy leaders plan to combine six megawatts (MW) of Bloom fuel cells, 2MW of solar power from Concept Clean Energy and a 2MW/4MWh battery into a microgrid that is designed to power the entire 450,000 sq. ft. facility in San Juan Bautista, California.Taylor Farms’ commitment to providing healthy fresh foods year-round to customers and consumers cannot be disrupted amid energy reliability challenges. This collaboration combines the strength of each technology – fuel cells’ ability to generate resilient, always-on power, daytime power generation from solar, and energy storage benefits from batteries – to fulfill the facility’s 24/7 power needs completely, independently, and cost-effectively. While microgrids are often implemented only to provide power to critical loads in the event of outages, Taylor Farms seeks to prove that companies can, with partners like Bloom Energy, Ameresco, and Concept Clean Energy, take control of all their energy needs and establish price and power predictability. “We are looking forward to the energy stability this will provide our San Juan Bautista, California facility,Fresh food reliability is essential for our customers and it’s more critical than ever to provide quality, fresh foods to North Americans.” -Bruce Taylor, Chairman and CEO, Taylor Farms. Per the California Independent System Operator, it is estimated that the state faces an energy capacity shortfall of 1,700MW, which could be as high as 5,000MW if California is hit with multiple extreme events at the same time, such as wildfires and heat waves. With the flexibility to leverage the right technology for the right application, companies can now avoid relying on strained power grids, as Bloom Energy and Ameresco aim to provide always-on power for Taylor Farms. Our partnership with Taylor Farms and Ameresco is a landmark demonstration of the capabilities that innovative, clean energy companies have to provide uninterrupted low-carbon power to large-scale facilities,” said Sharelynn Moore, EVP, Chief Business Development and Marketing Officer, Bloom Energy. “Our decade-long relationship with Taylor Farms is culminating in this leading application of what a microgrid can do – enabling America’s largest producer of packaged produce to maintain and improve the reliability of their power. This journey builds on Taylor Farms’ relationship with Bloom Energy and is intended to allow the produce distributor to explore disconnecting from the regional power grid amid energy price escalations and reliability challenges. “Ameresco is excited to partner with Bloom and Taylor Farms on a truly transformative project that demonstrates innovation in advanced energy technologies,We look forward to this project serving as a blueprint for others as the role for baseload, dispatchable alternative energy sources serve as the cornerstone for resiliency in microgrids.” -Ameresco EVP Michael Bakas. Working with Taylor Farms' leadership has inspired Concept Clean Energy to develop highly innovative and versatile solutions for solar canopies, rooftops and ground-mounted applications,” said Elliot Jaramillo, CEO, Clean Concept Energy. “We're enabling Taylor Farms to achieve energy independence and realize unprecedented economic returns Energy solutions, including fuel cells and solar, can be integrated at scale, to provide low-carbon energy, reliability, resiliency, and immunity to challenges facing current grid operations. At Taylor Farms, Bloom and its partners are paving the way for decarbonizing production, while showing how industries like agriculture, an important part of the California and national economies and the fifth largest source of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, can reach net-zero. Bloom Energy empowers businesses and communities to responsibly take charge of their energy. The company’s leading solid oxide platform for distributed generation of electricity and hydrogen is changing the future of energy. Fortune 100 companies around the world turn to Bloom Energy as a trusted partner to deliver lower carbon energy today and a net-zero future. For more information, visit www.bloomenergy.com. About Taylor Farms Taylor Farms is a leading North American producer of salads and healthy fresh foods with production facilities across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Taylor Farms is grounded in a commitment to quality, assured supply, innovation, sustainability, and food safety. Taylor Farms is family owned and based in “The Salad Bowl of the World” Salinas, California. For more information, delicious recipes, and more visit www.taylorfarms.com and follow Taylor Farms on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. About Ameresco, Inc. Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading cleantech integrator and renewable energy asset developer, owner and operator. Our comprehensive portfolio includes energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions delivered to clients throughout North America and Europe. Ameresco’s sustainability services in support of clients’ pursuit of net-zero include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction, and operation of distributed energy resources. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, Massachusetts, Ameresco has more than 1,000 employees providing local expertise in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com. About Concept Clean Energy Concept Clean Energy is a leader in the field of renewable energy, primarily focused on the agricultural sector. Our team has created several proprietary solutions designed to maximize solar generation while keeping valuable land in production. These solutions allow heavy energy users, such as Taylor Farms, to produce large amounts of reliable clean power onsite, protect critical operations and ultimately achieve energy independence. www.ConceptCleanEnergy.com

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