A smarter power grid

Agder Energi partners with Microsoft and Powell to create an effective electrical grid for the future

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What will the power grid of the future look like?

Rasmus Falck
Oslo, Norway

Norwegian power company Agder Energi is collaborating with Microsoft and Powel AS to build an intelligent power grid powered by an intelligent cloud. According to Agder Energi, they want to use new technology to make the power grid more efficient, more predictable, and more flexible. They want to go from being energy generators to energy partners with a more active role for the customers. Part of the project is to show how grid companies can implement sky-based solutions to save energy. Together with the partners at Microsoft and Powel, they will use innovation to solve the challenges facing the grid.

Agder Energi took the initiative some time ago by targeting the German energy market, allowing the company to gain access to the markets that control management of renewable energy and optimization of decentralized production in addition to the consumer flexibility markets. Germany has been following a strategy over the past years to increase the amount of renewable energy in the power grid. For Norway, hydropower is essential if the country is to supply more flexible energy to Europe. In return, Norway gains access to leading technology and advanced business models.

The company intends to make a contribution towards enabling the green shift by selling clean energy, providing flexible solutions, and optimizing decentralized production. Flexibility is offered by accelerating or decelerating production and the rate of consumption.

In terms of hydroelectric production, Agder Energi is the third-largest energy group in Norway with a total of 49 wholly and partly owned power stations. Annually these produce approximately 8.1 TWh of renewable energy. The company’s expertise of wind power is also expanding with Statkraft Agder Energy planning to build multiple wind parks around the country. In addition, the company has district-heating plants in both Kristiansand and Arendal.

Agder Energi Nett owns and operates the regional and distribution grids in both Vest-Agder and Aust-Agder counties—a total of 21,300 kilometers of lines and 195,000 grid customers in Agder. Norway’s largest power supplier, LOS, serves as their end user, supplying electricity to over 150,000 customers in the private market. LOS also has a strong position among the country’s top power suppliers in the corporate market.

The company is a result of the merger between Aust-Agder Energi, Vest-Agder Energiverk, and Kristiansand Energiverk in 2000. Today it has around 1,400 employees and is one of the largest enterprises in southern Norway. Its activities have a significant beneficial impact on that part of the country. This is helped by the company’s substantial purchases of goods and services in the region, while the municipalities that partly own the company benefit from annual profits, taxes, and duties. The group also owns Agder Energi Venture, which was established in 2007 and invests in energy-related companies from early to mature phases. Their high competence, good network, and close follow up makes them a strong partner in active company development.

Agder Energi wants to become one of the leading companies in the Norwegian renewable energy sector. Recently Innovasjonsmagasinet ranked them among the top 25 innovators in Norway!

Rasmus Falck is a strong innovation and entrepreneurship advocate. The author of “What do the best do better” and “The board of directors as a resource in SME,” he received his masters degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives in Oslo, Norway.

This article originally appeared in the Aug. 25, 2017, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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