Energy partnership to create end-to-end digital twin of electric grid

Market news |
By Rich Pell

The virtual grid model, say the companies, will enable unprecedented levels of grid visibility, allowing for improved efficiency, reliability, and utilization of distributed assets. Utilidata has spent over a decade working with utilities to improve grid reliability, resiliency, and sustainability through voltage optimization, while Sense’s technology analyzes high-resolution energy data to provide homeowners with a detailed and real-time view of how energy is used in their homes.

The companies say they are now using the high-resolution waveform data to look in the other direction – to see in detail what is happening in the grid. By combining their areas of expertise with machine learning, the companies are able to create a real-time, responsive view of the secondary electric grid.

This methodology is being piloted in collaboration with multinational utility National Grid, a long-time partner to both companies.

“Sense and Utilidata have developed technologies that are intrinsic to our ability to deliver safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to our customers,” says Carlos Nouel, Vice President of Smart Solutions at National Grid. “The integration of these two technologies can demonstrate the value of real time data and enable us to optimize how we operate the system. Having this information will allow us to be even more customer-centric, responsive, and reliable.”

In the partnership, Utilidata’s software will analyze Sense’s high-resolution data to produce a digital twin of the secondary electric grid. Because the model draws on real-time, high-resolution data and machine learning, it responds to changing conditions and will also detect and forecast grid performance, including the variable activity of distributed energy resources (DERs).

For this reason, say the companies, the digital twin enables unprecedented levels of grid visibility while offering a path toward the seamless integration of DERs, the successful accommodation of growing numbers of electric vehicles (EVs), and sophisticated scenario modeling.

Marissa Hummon, Chief Technology Officer of Utilidata says, “We are currently at an inflection point, where the increasing, rapid customer adoption of electric vehicles and onsite storage are outpacing the ability of the grid to adapt. Utilities need grid analysis and operation tools that are responsive, precise, and quickly deployed to ensure that electricity delivery remains accessible and reliable while becoming more sustainable. We are excited to work with Sense’s high-resolution data and customer insights to introduce meaningful technological advancement to the grid.”

Mike Phillips, CEO of Sense adds, “Given our real-time view of the electrical loads in the home, and Utilidata’s model of the resources on the grid, the next step is to provide consumers with automation of key devices in homes and incentives to allow us to shift the timing of electricity consumption to better match the dynamic conditions of the grid.”


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