Vector and AWS team up on ‘new energy platform’

New Zealand-based energy supplier Vector partners AWS to develop an IoT and analytics platform to speed up processing of smart meter data and to tailor products and pricing for customers

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and New Zealand-based energy supplier Vector have teamed up to develop an internet of things (IoT) and analytics platform to deliver insights on energy-consumption patterns.

Dubbed New Energy Platform (NEP), the software will gather insights from data provided by over 1.6 million IoT-connected Vector smart meters, which energy and utility companies in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) can use to tailor products and pricing for customers.

Through the partnership, Vector and AWS will leverage a range of AWS services, including IoT analytics, machine learning and infrastructure services, along with the joint engineering capabilities of both companies.

The NEP is also expected to speed up processing of smart meter data, from 30-minute intervals to five-minute intervals in Australia by 2021.

The shorter interval is aligned with the requirements of Australia’s five-minute settlement rule introduced by the Australian energy market operator to align price signals with real-time usage, enabling more efficient bidding, operational decisions and investment.

There are currently around 70 energy retailers and more than 40 power distribution networks in ANZ delivering a range of energy services, including those from green sources.

With more precise insights from the NEP, AWS said energy and utility companies can develop accurate and dynamic pricing models that will incentivise the use of locally produced energy from solar panels and microgrids.

“Consumers are demanding cleaner, more reliable and more affordable energy. Through our alliance with AWS, we are taking critical steps to transform how the energy industry operates,” said Simon Mackenzie, group CEO of Vector.

“While there have been technology advances in the energy industry, there has been very little close to the consumer, and that’s where we see our role. By collaborating with AWS, our vision is for the NEP to transform the energy industry by using data to inform innovation and product development.

“The NEP can displace legacy systems, creating a step change in processing power, flexibility and accuracy addressing the rapidly changing requirements of metering and information systems. This industry-first in New Zealand is another step in our long-stated ambition to partner with like-minded organisations to benefit our energy and utility customers, and – ultimately – consumers,” Mackenzie added.

Nick Walton, managing director for commercial sector at AWS in New Zealand, said the partnership will have a “profound impact on the energy sector” as millions of energy network assets are being digitised at scale.

To develop the NEP and associated applications, AWS and Vector will hire more than 30 employees in highly skilled technology and engineering roles.

Vector is the latest energy supplier in ANZ to tap cloud services to improve operations and gain a competitive edge.

Australia’s Mojo Power has been using AWS to analyse data and provide households with access to wholesale energy rates, while AGL recently inked a three-year deal with Microsoft to use Azure as the primary platform for its computing needs by 2022.

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