AWS and NZ’s Vector launch IoT-connected energy platform

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has partnered with New Zealand electricity and gas distribution company Vector to develop an Internet of Things (IoT) and analytics solution, targeted at the energy sector.

Under the multi-year “strategic alliance”, the companies will jointly develop the New Energy Platform (NEP) in hopes of delivering consumers more affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy options across Australia and New Zealand.

The NEP is powered by AWS and its initial focus would be 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 the two countries.

“The insights collected by the NEP 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 companies said in a statement.

The NEP will leverage AWS IoT Analytics, which is a fully-managed service helping to run and operationalise sophisticated analytics on massive volumes of data. It is expected the service would provide Vector and other energy and utilities companies with insights on network performance to help plan energy networks, drive smarter investment decisions, and increase reliability for consumers.

“By increasing the capacity and rate of data collection, the NEP is designed to help Vector deliver advanced meter processing from 30 minute to five minute-intervals in Australia by 2021,” the companies wrote.

See also: How the energy sector is using the industry cloud

“This is designed 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.”

Group CEO of Vector Simon Mackenzie said that while there have been technology advances in the energy industry, there has been very little close to the consumer.

“That’s where we see our role,” he said. “Our vision is for the NEP to transform the energy industry by using data to inform innovation and product development. The NEP can displace legacy systems creating a step change in processing power, flexibility, and accuracy addressing the rapidly changing requirements of metering and information systems.”

The plan for the NEP is to have the platform help energy and utility companies develop innovative solutions and new market models that accelerate the uptake of renewables and electric vehicles.

“For example, the capacity of the NEP to rapidly process vast amounts of data means more precise information will be able to be provided to the energy market,” the companies said.

“This should result in accurate and 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.”  

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