Advanced Microgrid Solutions use AI to increase energy value

AMS has built up deals across Australia to produce, manage and store 2,000MW of renewable energy, using AI to monitor market value to best effect. Adv...

Ollie Mulkerrins
|Sep 30|magazine9 min read

AMS has built up deals across Australia to produce, manage and store 2,000MW of renewable energy, using AI to monitor market value to best effect.

Advanced Microgrid Solutions (AMS) has struck five commercial deals in Australia to dispatch and store 2,000MW of renewable energy. AMS had previously announced its intention to move into the green energy sector and last October expanded on this by explaining it was looking to invest in the Australian market.

Speaking in a recent interview about the Australian energy market, CEO Susan Kennedy said: "They’re really the leading edge of a revolution in the way the energy markets are going to be run and renewables integrated into the grid."

The fast-paced nature of the Australia energy market was the main lure for AMS. As energy producers are free to bid as they see fit in order to maximise their returns, competition has been strong. There has been a dramatic rise in renewable energy generation, especially in Southern Australia, as more fossil fuel-based plants are closed down.

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The decision to invest in battery storage and AI analytics would also allow AMS to stay ahead of that competitive market. Currently, the low marginal cost of green energy means buyers will place the lowest bid for their needs. However, when a surge in power due to high winds leads to oversupply and a resulting price slump, it can be more effective to store that power for a later date and release it into a higher value market later. This method of storage is very hard to manage as it requires insights into prospective weather conditions compared to the current value of renewable energy in the area.

Using AI analytics would be an efficient and attainable fix to this issue, Kennedy explains: "A battery cannot be managed by humans with Excel spreadsheets — there are too many variables. Five to 10 years from now, you will not see a trading desk in the world that does not have some AI support tools, if it's not fully automated."

It was this expansion into AI that took the majority of AMS’ time since its announcement in 2017 to move into renewable markets. Undergoing a digital transformation can take a certain level of preparation to understand the operational conditions a business will be moving into. AMS then gathered data on market variables, operational parameters and required equipment, before coding market rules for Australias competitive grid. Hiring members of the team that built Tesla’s market optimisation platform for Hornsdale Power in South Africa, armed with a wealth of data, will give AMS an edge to move into renewable energy with a strong foundation and the infrastructure required to manage an automated grid capable of accurately predicting and controlling its fluctuating energy supply.