Voith Hydro has taken the next step in delivering the benefits of digitalization to its customers by entering a pilot phase of cooperation with Austrian HYDROGRID. The Vienna-based company was founded in 2016 and offers a fully automated “Software as a Service” (SaaS) solution for optimal real-time operation and dispatch of hydropower plants.
The software, HYDROGRID Insight, which was awarded with the Austrian “National Digitalisation Award” in 2019, uses meteorological data and self-learning algorithms to predict hydropower inflows and optimize water management while ensuring operational restrictions are obeyed. Additionally, the software automatically positions hydropower plants in the power markets in an optimal way to increase profitability. By using the software, hydropower operators in Norway, Sweden, Finland, UK and Turkey already benefit from up to 18% additional revenues and 20 hours less operational effort per week.
In combination with Voith’s HyCon Automation and cutting-edge digital “Intelligent Hydropower” solutions, these effects can be further enhanced through an optimal integration of products along the entire value chain:
Up to now, existing solutions were focusing mainly on long-term maintenance cost reductions and a safe plant operation. Together with the information on short-term impacts on power generation delivered by HYDROGRID both companies will maximize insights for operators supporting them in their daily business. This special two-dimensional approach of taking into account the assets’ health status and, at the same time, the operational conditions and constraints is unique in the industry.
Over the last six months, the parties have already successfully validated the strong demand for a joint offering of digital products in selected European markets, with the first contracts already signed in Italy and numerous requests-for-offer currently in progress:
“With this new digital product offering, Voith is once again showing market leadership by proactively addressing the needs of hydro producers as the industry is going through rapid changes – we are excited to see how our processes and bottom line can be enhanced with the help AI”, reports Simone Canteri, CEO of Italian energy producer Primiero Energia.
As a next step, Voith and HYDROGRID are looking to expand the joint market roll-out in further selected countries and to offer clients optimally integrated, cutting-edge digital solutions along the entire value chain.
“Joining our efforts with Voith Hydro offers us market access on a global level and is thereby supporting our vision to achieve smart plant operation for operators worldwide even faster. So far, we already saw a very successful roll-out of our product in Europe, and we look forward to taking the next steps towards intelligent hydropower around the globe”, reports Janice Goodenough, CEO of HYDROGRID.
“Our partnership really puts operators and optimized energy production into the focus as it aims to combine all relevant data for them. I am convinced that having HYDROGRID’s market specialists and software expertise matched with our domain know-how will be very fruitful”, says Uwe Wehnhardt, CEO of Voith Hydro. “I am looking forward to see how we can both learn from each other in order to advance our offering.”