ENGIE engages C3 to roadmap its digital journey
When French electricity utility company ENGIE needed a partner to help implement an enterprise-wide digital transformation, it turned to C3.ai.
Ranked as among the largest power producers in the world, ENGIE’s requirements ranged from optimising gas power plants, managing heating and cooling plants, energy analysis, fault-detection on wind turbines and more.
With a total energy production capability of 114.4GW and staffed by over 153,000 people, ENGIE’s reputation as a leader in the sector is well established, yet the company still envisaged a better and more integrated way of operating.
“Together with C3.ai, we’re determined to be one of the rare leaders that will invent the new world,” said Yves Le Gelard, CIO and Chief Digital Officer.
A large-scale undertaking
Implementing a digital transformation within ENGIE’s vast operational framework (24 units in 70 countries) was always going to be a challenge, but C3.ai was determined to make the substantial commitment of time and resources that it would entail.
Part of this preparation necessitated training 70 new staff, including data scientists, on how to operate and optimise the C3 AI suite.
With ENGIE’s global operations pooling data from more than 1mn devices in one minute to 15-minute intervals, the data collection capabilities of the company are huge, with the expectation that the number of devices could quintuple by the end of 2020.
The relevant solutions selected as relevant for ENGIE’s requirements included Predictive Maintenance (Gas Chain, Production of Electricity, Solutions for Cities & Territories), Sensor Health (Gas Chain) and C3 Enterprise (Solutions for Business).
In total, C3.ai devised a roadmap for digital transformation that made use of more than 30 applications from its suite, all linked to the maintenance of essential aspects of the company’s business.
In addition, to streamline the uptake, ENGIE established its own ‘Digital Factory’ and hired 100 technical staff to help promote the ideas and resources granted by C3.ai’s technology.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.