Amazon Web Services (AWS) has inked a multi-year alliance with Auckland-based energy company Vector to jointly develop what the partners call a New Energy Platform (NEP).
Powered by AWS, the NEP is an internet of things (IoT) and analytics solution for the energy industry which will help deliver more affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy options to consumers.
The NEP is designed to help Vector deliver advanced meter processing from 30 minute to five minute intervals in Australia by 2021.
This will help it to meet the requirements of the five-minute settlement rule, an industry transformation introduced by the Australian Energy Market Operator designed to align price signals with real-time usage and lead to more efficient bidding, operational decisions, and investment.
In the future, insights from the NEP will enable energy and utility companies to develop innovative solutions and new market models that accelerate the uptake of renewables and electric vehicles.
The NEP will be introduced first in Australia and New Zealand, where there are around 70 energy retailers and more than 40 distribution networks.
Vector and AWS will leverage the breadth and depth of AWS services, including IoT, analytics, machine learning, and infrastructure services, with Vector’s energy industry knowledge, plus the joint engineering capability of both organisations.
The initial focus of the NEP is to rapidly collect and analyse data from more than 1.6 million IoT-connected Vector advanced meters that gather information on energy consumption and network performance across Australia and New Zealand.
The insights collected will help Vector enable energy and utility companies to develop tailored product and pricing solutions for their customers based on their energy consumption habits.
The NEP will leverage AWS IoT Analytics, a managed service that makes it easy to run and operationalise analytics on massive volumes of data to provide Vector and other energy and utilities companies with insights on network performance and drive smarter decision-making.
The initiative should result in dynamic pricing models for energy and utility companies that will incentivise the use of energy that is locally produced such as solar panels and microgrids, or stored by consumers themselves via batteries.
Vector and AWS plan to hire more than 30 employees in highly skilled technology and engineering roles in New Zealand to help develop the NEP and associated applications.
“Consumers are demanding cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable energy, and through our alliance with AWS we are taking critical steps to transform how the energy industry operates,” said Simon Mackenzie, group CEO of Vector.
“While there have been technology advances in the energy industry there has been very little close to the consumer, and that’s where we see our role. By collaborating with AWS, our vision is for the NEP to transform the energy industry by using data to inform innovation and product development."
Nick Walton, managing director for commercial sector at AWS in New Zealand said the strategic alliance will have a profound impact on the energy sector, as Vector and AWS work together to leverage advanced IoT, analytics, machine learning, and compute services to digitise millions of energy network assets at scale.