21 Febbraio 2024

Microsoft at DISTRIBUTECH 2024: AI transformation in the power and utilities industry

In an era where the imperative for clean, reliable, and accessible energy has never been greater, the industry is witnessing a significant shift. The transition to sustainable energy sources, while ensuring grid resilience and optimizing energy distribution, requires a leap in innovation and collaboration. Microsoft, along with our partners, is spearheading this shift, employing AI to not only enhance operational efficiencies but also to empower companies to meet the dual challenges of decarbonization and increased energy demand head-on.

Through comprehensive, integrated offerings such as cloud analytics, intelligent edge computing, and AI, Microsoft and its global partner ecosystem enable energy companies to digitally transform, decarbonize, and drive sustainable growth. And now, generative AI is playing an important role in accelerating the multifaceted energy transition.

Microsoft for Energy and Resources

Transform the energy and resources industry and achieve net zero

a man wearing a helmet

Microsoft technologies for a secure and sustainable energy transition

As the world advances toward a net-zero future, Microsoft technologies play an increasingly pivotal role in the transition to cleaner energy. AI can be used to drive transformative outcomes across the energy sector, from streamlining solar and wind operations, to refining gas and oil production, and modernizing power grids for enhanced efficiency and reliability.

The energy industry is moving toward an open, cloud-based platform. With the Microsoft Cloud solutions including Azure OpenAI Service, energy companies can manage their connected devices, diverse generation and transmission operations, and distributed energy resources more efficiently, securely, and sustainably. Utilizing Azure OpenAI Service, organizations like Schneider Electric are actively assessing and integrating Copilot features into their solutions, transforming user-experiences and delivering new business outcomes that were not possible before.

Microsoft Azure IoT is another important building block for digital transformation, helping organizations optimize energy distribution while lowering operational costs by improving grid performance, efficiently managing distributed energy resources, and implementing proactive and predictive maintenance capabilities. 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.

Cybersecurity stands as a top concern within the power and utilities sector, given its pivotal role in operating and safeguarding critical infrastructure. Microsoft Defender for IoT 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 generation facilities, transmission and distribution networks, and connected customer devices like solar equipment, batteries, and electric vehicles. Defender for IoT can eliminate security blind spots and provide holistic protection across operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) infrastructure.

Last week we announced new data and AI solutions in Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability that provide capabilities organizations need to progress in their sustainability journey. These include faster environmental, social and governance (ESG) data analytics and insights, an AI assistant to help accelerate impactful decision-making and reporting, and other advanced capabilities—all designed to help organizations move the needle faster.

Partnerships driving energy industry transformation

Microsoft partners and customers worldwide are transforming the energy sector with innovation, collaboration, and technology and we are proud to join these industry leaders at DISTRIBUTECH International 2024. Featured Microsoft partners include: Accenture, Amperon, AspenTech, AVEVA, Capgemini, Cognizant, Context Labs, EY, Hexagon, InnovationForce, IFS, Itron, PXiSE, Schneider Electric, T-Mobile, and Velrada.

Workforce enablement is a key target for transformation. Microsoft and Schneider Electric are collaborating to leverage copilots and generative AI to transform outage management and control center operations.1 This initiative is enhancing the capabilities of operators, focusing on real-time decision-making and outage risk reduction. Learn more about how Microsoft is powering the energy transition with AI and collaborative partnerships.

Schneider Electric and Microsoft have a long history of successful partnership in the energy sector. For example, last year, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Schneider Electric, and Microsoft announced the deployment of a distributed energy resource management system (DERMS) to maintain grid reliability and accelerate customer adoption of distributed energy resources.2 EcoStruxure DERMS from Schneider Electric is a cloud-based, grid-aware software platform that runs on Microsoft Azure, and integrates, analyzes, and optimizes data from distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, electric vehicles, battery energy storage, and microgrids. The solution has enhanced flexibility and resilience, enabling PG&E to deliver clean, reliable, and affordable energy to their customers.

We are also excited to team with Context Labs BV, a leader in climate analytics, to deploy their solutions on Microsoft Azure, with enhanced security AI tooling. This collaboration brings Context Labs’ Immutably™ Enterprise Data Fabric, Decarbonization-as-a-Service™, and CLEAR Path™ solutions to the Azure Marketplace, enabling customers to create more accurate emissions profiles and create, certify, and store transactable Environmental Attributes Certificates and Credits. 

Microsoft and T-Mobile are transforming the energy industry with the T-Mobile for Business 5G Advanced Network Solutions powered by Azure private multi-access edge compute (MEC), a cloud-managed edge infrastructure and services combined with edge networking. This partnership provides enhanced connectivity options and facilitates on-site data processing and collaboration. T-Mobile for Business offers solutions for 5G connectivity across public, hybrid, and private deployments for energy customers, with its leading nationwide 5G coverage and a portfolio of security and management services.

Azure MEC expands the possibilities from a single platform to a solution that leverages multiple platforms and capabilities. These include Azure-supported edge services and applications, network functions, compute options, radios and devices, and AI. By processing data closer to the end device, latency-and throughput-sensitive user scenarios such as video analytics, real-time robotics, and mixed Internet of Things (IoT) use cases can be improved at a global scale. Customers and partners can benefit from a complete set of Azure services and ecosystem technology components to rapidly build, deploy, and manage solutions with simplicity.

Together, Microsoft and T-Mobile for Business are building an end-to-end ecosystem of solutions for energy customers like AI video analytics and mobile robotics, and specific use cases that include IoT devices, rugged tablet and mobile devices, and augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), extended reality (XR) applications. This partnership showcases the combined strength of both companies in driving innovation in the energy sector.

Microsoft at DISTRIBUTECH: Powering business, operations, and communications with AI

The Microsoft Energy and Resources industry team looks forward to sharing new, AI-driven digital solutions at DISTRIBUTECH International 2024 in Orlando, Florida, on February 27 to 29, 2024, the leading annual energy transmission and distribution event for North America. This year’s conference highlights electricity delivery automation, energy efficiency, distributed energy resource management, resiliency, reliability, and more.

Meet our team, customers, and partners on stage and at the Microsoft booth, focused on powering a sustainable future in the era of AI. We’ll share our perspectives across multiple sessions including an afternoon keynote with Steve Clayton, Vice President, Microsoft Communications Strategy on February 27. Steve will share how his team uses the power of generative AI to reshape all aspects of Microsoft’s communication discipline—from public relations and measurement to social media communications and much more. He will be joined by Ron Utterbeck, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Eversource for a fireside chat about the AI journey at his company including insights, culture, and vision for the future.

Other thought leadership sessions featuring the Microsoft team include:

  • Eric Denton, Senior Director Energy Industry for Business Systems, Microsoft, will address the integration of environmental, social, and governance issues with a talk on AI and other technologies that are impacting utilities.
  • Liang Downey, Power and Utilities Industry Advisor, Microsoft, Abdul Rahman Mohammed, Director of Data Analytics and Decision Services, MISO, and Steve Adams, Senior Information Technology Manager Digital Strategy, Constellation, will illuminate the path to data-driven leadership in utilities. The panel will explore how industry leaders are transforming the power and utilities landscape through data and the integration of data culture and operational insights that enhance decision-making, productivity, and operational efficiency.
  • Balamurugan Balakreshnan, Cloud Solution Architect, Microsoft, Teague Maxfield, Senior Manager, Solutions Delivery Architecture, Constellation Clearsight, and Rebekah Eggers, Global Director, Client Engagement and Innovation, IBM, will examine use cases, lessons learned, and other insights on the role of AI and machine learning that support transmission and distribution (T&D) asset inspections. Topics will include the potential impact on operational efficiencies, the opportunity to generate additional insights, and how Microsoft and the Azure Machine Learning platform are supporting Clearsight’s AI and machine learning endeavors.
  • Pat Lo, Power and Utilities Industry Advisor, Microsoft with Erik Johnson, Vice President, Digital Workplace Services, National Grid, and Quinn Nakayama, Senior Director, GRID Innovation Research and Development, PG&E, will discuss accelerating time-to-business value with AI and successful implementations of AI solutions using Microsoft Azure and Azure OpenAI Service. Panelists will share their experiences leveraging AI—including generative AI—to solve business challenges and best practices of adopting AI, such as data quality, governance, and talent.
  • Laurent Boinot, Power and Utilities Industry Advisor, Microsoft, Keri Glitch, Vice President, Information Technology, Fortis, and Alla Gogerman, Digital Productivity Center of Excellence Information Technology Leader, PG&E, explore enabling a clean energy future with data in the era of AI. Hear from industry leaders on the critical interplay between digital innovation, cultural transformation, and information technology (IT) security, and how digital technology is helping to build a more modern, adaptable, and efficient grid infrastructure that integrates renewable energy sources using low-code and no-code capabilities alongside strategic shifts in organizational culture.

I am thrilled to join customers and partners on three sessions to dive deeper into AI and cybersecurity in the power and utilities sector:

  • With Rober Biagotti, Vice President, Exelon, Carol Johnston, Vice President Energy and Jon Morensen, Global Enterprise Asset Management Chief Technology Officer of IFS, and Robel Lulseged, Director, Engineering and Asset Management Support, Oncor, we will highlight how Exelon is enhancing asset performance and workforce agility with AI and predictive state analytics through insights into improving asset longevity, employee productivity, skill-based task matching, and optimized scheduling.
  • Empowering Operators: The Rise of AI Copilots in Control Centers with Angus McPherson, Segment Solution Team Leader, Power and Grid, of Schneider Electric, and Fahimeh Kazempour, Head of Grid Modernization, Wood Mackenzie will explore how leading AI technologies are transforming the power and utilities operations landscape including outage management and control center operations, focusing on real-time decision-making and outage risk reduction.
  • Utilities, Beef Up Your Security convenes leaders from Exelon, BloombergNEF, the United States Department of Energy, and Dragos, to address how to increase utility resilience and cybersecurity by delving into key cyber threats, technologies that can help utilities mitigate those threats, and how utility strategies need to change to boost cyber resilience.

Join us in Orlando

Today’s energy challenges require smart solutions that deliver better business outcomes and accelerate progress. As we work together for a cleaner, more sustainable world, we’ll continue to leverage digital innovation and our strong partnerships to advance our net-zero goals.

Microsoft, with our customers and partners, is committed to advancing AI to accelerate the energy transition, grid modernization, and decarbonization by delivering the technology, platforms, and solutions that enable digital transformation. We hope you visit us at DISTRIBUTECH International 2024 at Booth 1451 to meet our Microsoft Energy and Resources team, partners, and customers, and share your thoughts on creating a sustainable energy future together. Register here for a special complimentary Exhibition Pass courtesy of Microsoft. See you in Orlando!

Learn more about Energy and Resources solutions with Microsoft

1Schneider Electric drives Generative AI productivity and sustainability solutions by integrating Microsoft Azure OpenAI, PR Newswire.

2PG&E taps Schneider, Microsoft for new DERMS, Power Grid International.

The post Microsoft at DISTRIBUTECH 2024: AI transformation in the power and utilities industry appeared first on Microsoft Industry Blogs.

Source: Microsoft Industry Blog