2 Febbraio 2023

Microsoft at DISTRIBUTECH 2023: Transform and thrive in a net-zero future

Framework of a self-anchored suspension bridge in San Francisco Bay.

Today’s energy challenges require smart solutions that deliver better business outcomes and accelerate progress toward net-zero goals. Extreme climate events, global inflation, and supply-chain disruptions are just a few factors that continue to drive up costs and the demand for safe, reliable, and clean energy.

To innovate new solutions for a sustainable future, industry leaders are leveraging the Microsoft Cloud and technologies. AI, predictive analytics, the internet of things (IoT), and augmented reality are helping to modernize power grids, distributed energy resources, and new advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), to accelerate decarbonization initiatives.

The Microsoft Energy team is excited to share ground-breaking solutions and emerging technologies in San Diego, California on February 7 to 9, 2023 at DISTRIBUTECH International, the leading annual energy transmission and distribution event for North America.

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You can find our team and partners on stage and at the Microsoft booth, where we’ll share success stories and advances in data analytics, grid management, the transition to clean energy, and more. Sessions featuring the Microsoft Energy team include:

    Bilal Khursheed, Industry Director, Power & Utilities, Americas, will be speaking on two panels:

    • One at the Grid Edge Technologies Knowledge Hub on Converting Data to Insights: Exploring a Utility’s Journey to Unlock Intelligence with Don Reeves, SVP Outcomes at Itron and Ainara Fernandez Olivera, Principal Engineer at Avangrid to talk about AMI, also known as smart metering. Find out how leading utilities are taking advantage of AMI data to deliver business insights for maximum impact. The panel will explore the data-to-insights journey across key areas including data strategy, AMI delivery and outcomes, distributed intelligence, the future of low-voltage networks, and what success entails. Learn how to thrive in a rapidly changing market and strategically leverage data to optimize operations and empower customers as active participants in the energy evolution.
    • Bilal will also be speaking at the Utility of the Future Knowledge Hub with utility grid modernization leaders Larry Bekkedahl, Senior Vice President, Advanced Energy Delivery of Portland General Electric, Kim Getgen, CEO, and Ivan Aguilar, Chief Technology Officer of InnovationForce to discuss learnings from Disney and Pfizer to reframe the innovation dilemma and approach innovation as a science. Panelists will share how regulated utilities can unlock the speed needed to reach decarbonization goals, manage wildfire risks, and deploy valuable capital projects faster.

    Jon Guidroz, Chief Strategy Officer, Worldwide Energy and Resources Industry, will present on Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) for grid management with Scott Koehler, VP Strategy, Innovation and MarketingDigital Grid at Schneider Electric and Quinn Nakayama, Senior Director, Grid Research Innovation and Development at Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). With an increasing number of distributed energy resources entering distribution networks, energy companies need greater grid flexibility and new management strategies. This session will review architectural considerations, data management methodologies, analytics requirements, and stepwise deployment options necessary to implement a DERMS program that addresses near-term goals and scales for a long-term vision. Hear how the PG&E, Schneider, and Microsoft partnership is enabling PG&E to deliver a DERMS solution in record time.

    Pat Lo, National Power & Utilities Lead, Canada,will co-present at the Utility of the Future Knowledge Hub session with Katie Speirs, Industry Principal Director, Accenture, on unlocking the full potential of the energy transition with the power of digital technologies and data. The session will delve into the cutting-edge possibilities of AI and advanced technology, and how these solutions can revolutionize the way we decarbonize the grid and overcome utility challenges. Don’t miss this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve and lead the charge towards a sustainable future.

    Partnerships for energy industry transformation

    Microsoft partners and customers worldwide are transforming the energy sector with industry-leading innovation, collaboration, and technology. We’re proud to join these industry change-makers onstage or at our booth. Featured Microsoft partners include: Accenture, Avangrid, Awesense, Bentley, Cognite, enexchange, eSmart Systems, InnovationForce, Itineris, Itron, Neudesic, NODES, PXiSE, Schneider Electric, Sonata, TerraPraxis, Thread (Airtonomy), and Uptake.

    A recent collaboration we are especially proud of is with Schneider Electric and Footprint Project, a small nonprofit that is helping communities around the world impacted by natural disasters, COVID-19, and the war in Ukraine. Using the power of the Microsoft Cloud and Schneider’s energy management data platform, Footprint can remotely operate microgrids which combine solar and battery power to bring cleaner energy to disaster response and to those who would have otherwise had no access to electricity.

    Microsoft technologies for a secure and sustainable energy transition

    As the world moves toward a net-zero future, Microsoft technologies play an increasingly pivotal role in the transition to cleaner energy. Through comprehensive, integrated offerings that include data analytics, intelligent edge computing, and AI, Microsoft and our partners enable energy companies to drive digital transformation, decarbonize, and support sustainable growth. These innovative solutions empower energy companies to do more with less by expanding the potential of their existing expertise and assets. With cloud enabled solutions, energy companies can manage their connected devices, diverse generation and transmission operations, and distributed energy resources more efficiently, securely, and sustainably.

    Microsoft Azure IoT for Energy brings the intelligent edge and the intelligent cloud together to deliver energy data in an interoperable format, delivering insights enriched by advanced analytics, AI, and new models of interactivity enabled by mixed reality. The Microsoft IoT energy solutions help improve grid performance, manage resources, and implement proactive and predictive maintenance. 

    Optimize grid assets with technology that can help visualize your grid’s topology, gather data from grid assets, and define rules to trigger alerts and enable predictive maintenance. Gain more safety oversight, prevent failures, and avoid critical downtime by monitoring the performance and condition of your equipment. Avoid costly infrastructure upgrades and gain flexibility by using distributed energy resources to drive energy optimization.

    Cloud-based solutions provide the innovation, flexibility, and reliability that energy companies need to support a remote workforce. Newly hired technicians who previously traveled to onsite training centers can log in to Microsoft Dynamics 365 to complete training and get field-ready. Mixed reality apps like Microsoft HoloLens can help streamline operations, improve productivity, and support the transition to net zero. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist enables technicians to stay engaged and receive support without having to put tools down to read a diagram or bring other teammates onsite. Customers are also using AI-supported inspection tools to safely and efficiently maintain power lines with a virtual inspection tool and drone images that help prevent power outages with accurate, predictive maintenance. 

    Microsoft Defender for IoT in Power and Utilities helps mitigate the growing threat landscape for power and utilities companies. As an organization’s operational footprint continues to transform and grow, so does its attack surface, which can include power plants, transmission and distribution networks, and connected customer devices like solar equipment, batteries, and electric vehicles. Defender for IoT helps eliminate security blind spots and provide holistic protection across operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) infrastructure through proactive monitoring of connected devices, continuous visibility across all connected assets, and helping secure networks against cyber and physical attack.

    Customers can also accelerate their energy transition with solutions that help build a sustainable infrastructure and digitally connect supply chains to improve collaboration, accountability, and transparency. For example, with Microsoft Sustainability Manager, our newest Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability offering, companies can unify data intelligence to help measure, monitor, and reduce the environmental impact of operations.

    Visit us at DISTRIBUTECH in San Diego

    There is more work ahead of us to achieve our collective vision for a cleaner, more sustainable world. Through digital innovation and strong partnerships, we see a brighter future ahead. We encourage you to visit us at DISTRIBUTECH booth 3835 to meet the Microsoft Energy team, our partners, and customers, and talk about the steps we can take together on our shared net-zero journey.

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    Source: Microsoft Industry Blog