“Consumer energy resources are accelerating massive, unprecedented change in the energy system, that has gone from a grid designed for a unidirectional power flow, to a grid which now supports bidirectional flow,” said Irene Di Martino, CEO at Amp X during yesterday’s (9 November) Current± Briefings: Digitalisation – the key to unlocking a whole-system net zero transition.
“There are a number trends driving a number of challenges which need to be addressed in order to deliver a fully decarbonised grid,” said Di Martino.
Decentralisation is associated with these trends and is driven by consumers uptaking a number of new demand response technologies such as electric vehicles (EVs) and smart appliances. These technologies, according to Di Martino, are becoming “essential constituents of an ecosystem in the residential space, in which a consumer wants to be able to navigate, whilst stakeholders try to manage [these technologies] in order to unlock flexibility that compensates for the intermittency of renewables in a fully decarbonised system.”
As visibility from data centres is increasing, it is “absolutely essential to make use of this data to provide useful outcomes to the different stakeholders that will ultimately enable the grid functions required to cater for the level of decentralisation required,” added Di Martino.
The edge of the grid (i.e. consumer flexibility assets) is key to meet net zero transition targets and to enable these technologies to form part of a fully decarbonised grid, the challenges faced by three individual stakeholders must be addressed.
- Distribution Network Operators (DNOS) – more capacity to accommodate rapidly increasing number of Consumer Energy Resources (CERs), greater visibility of their network, and ability to stabilise/optimise voltage dynamically.
- Energy Retailers – viability of customer energy habits, effective means of optimising energy usage, and ability to effectively tailor tariffs for consumer segments
- Energy consumers – single, simple energy management platform, energy consumption visibility, demand response participation.
In order to address all three stakeholder groups, Di Martino said that the technology developer has “decided to move away from a point solution and not focus on a single stakeholder, addressing a specific challenge, but to think transversally”.
Amp X’s value proposition is a “whole-system approach” created to simultaneously address the key challenges of the energy transition at the edge of the grid by using cloud-based data-driven aggregation, as wells propriety analytics infrastructure to monitor a variety energy assets.
This includes the Amp X asset management platform (AMP) used to monitor front-of-meter and behind-the-meter assets, such as solar and battery storage optimise dispatch and provide life-management for assets.
The asset management platform today caters in the US for commercial operation for generations assets including batteries and the platform allows this asset to be more profitable for the asset owner, providing means to provide maintenance costs, added Di Martino.
Smart Transformers (STX) in turn are set to resolve distribution grid instabilities and constraints whilst providing increased visibility of the low-voltage network ad control multidirectional power glows.
And finally, the digital home energy management system, ALICE (Agents for Lifestyle-Based Intelligent Control of Energy), which provides a user-centric solution for dynamic load shaping using autonomous behind-the-meter management.
“Digitalisation is absolutely something that we need to be able to leverage for useful outcomes,” concluded Di Martino, “Not just for visibility, but to provide insights that decision makers can leverage in order to be commercially viable, deliver the net zero targets, and always cater for the preferences of the end user.”