Amperon Secures Funding For AI-enabled Electricity Demand Analytics
Amperon announces a win of $7 million in Series A funding to bring its AI-powered electricity demand analytics to new markets.
Amperon Holdings, Inc. (Amperon) is a privately held technology company that specializes in developing AI-powered electricity analytics for its customers in the energy market.
The New-York based company has announced its receipt of $7 million in Series A funding led by HSBC Asset Management (HSBC) and sourced from HSBC’s new Climate Tech Venture Capital Fund. Other participating investors included Muus Asset Management, Climate Capital, Riverstone Holdings, and Kiran Bhatraju, CEO of Arcadia.
According to HSBC, Amperon’s “laser-precise” AI-powered analytics is what is needed to help tackle the incorporation of intermittent renewable energy into power grids and the uncertainty posed by volatile weather on the reliability of power generation.
Image used courtesy of Pixabay
Climate Change and Renewable Energy
Since the historic Paris Agreement, countries across the globe have put forward nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that set out targets, measures, and policies to tackle climate change head-on. The overall goal of the agreement is to ensure that global temperatures do not rise above the limit of 1.5 oC. According to a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), even a temperature rise of half a degree can bring about serious impacts on climate. Phasing out the use of fossil fuels in industry and transport is a huge step that needs to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the much-feared rise in temperature at bay.
The Paris Agreement. Video used courtesy of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Sources of renewable energy (such as wind, solar, or wave power) are becoming increasingly important for providing energy, but they do introduce the challenge of intermittency. The weather cannot be controlled and these sources of energy are not always in continual supply. According to a discussion paper by McKinsey & Company, the increased use of renewable energy has introduced significant volatility in energy supply, with variations of up to 60%. Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in the electric utility sector provide capabilities that can enhance the uptake of renewables in smart grid systems and optimize energy use.
Unlocking Renewable Energy with AI
Today, integrated and smart energy systems (IES/SES) interconnect energy consumer sectors (such as transport, industry, and buildings) and link them with energy-producing sectors in an intelligently corroborated network. SES can use intelligent control to predict power generation, predict the level of energy needed to meet the demand and supply equilibrium, and analyze the effect of renewable energy uncertainties in power grid operation.
Sensor technology and machine learning (ML) can provide information on energy-generating processes. As an example, a sensor on a wind turbine can be used to make by-the-minute adjustments to maximize generation efficiency by adjusting to changes in wind conditions. The ability of AI to perform real-time analysis and intelligent processing (through cloud computing and using big data) allows for more effective monitoring of energy assets, improved monitoring, operation, and management. Artificial intelligence can be used to adapt operations to provide consumers with reliable energy flow at reduced costs.
ML-enabled forecasting can allow energy operators to anticipate peaks in supply and demand peaks, as well as maximize the use of intermittent renewable energy. Where renewable energy can provide a sufficient amount of electricity but demand is low, it can be bought at a reasonable price from energy operators. The electricity can then be converted and stored as heat energy in battery systems to power households at times where electricity demand is high but its production is low due to intermittency.
These are just some of the ways that AI can be used to boost the efficiency of SESs for energy suppliers, operators, and consumers.
Amperon Plans to Expand Market Reach
Amperon plans to use its newly won funding to expand its market reach into Europe and Asia. The company also intends to grow its customer base to include utilities, virtual power plants, commercial and industrial customers, and grid operators.
"I've been in this industry for 17 years, and the tools companies currently use are completely ineffective to tackle the energy transition,” said CEO and co-founder of Amperon, Sean Kelly, in a recent news release. "We need a grid that runs on AI to keep up with these exponential changes. This partnership with HSBC means we can expand our presence to reach every electricity market participant."
For Amperon, the extension of its market horizon for its AI-powered electricity demand analytics is hoped to empower grid operators with an essential tool for managing power grid challenges in light of the intermittent nature of renewable energy and a rapidly changing global climate.