Auckland-based power company Vector is working with Google’s Moonshot factory X Development and other international partners to accelerate the development of affordable network technologies that support decarbonization.
Vector and X Development have worked together for nearly two years to develop tools that visualize and simulate how technological developments, extreme weather events and other factors will affect the future design, management and operation of energy networks in New Zealand and around the world could.
Simon Mackenzie, CEO of Vector, says that the old models for planning and managing energy networks were simply no longer workable given the complexities of future energy needs, climate change and costs.
He said power grids need to integrate renewable generation, storage, electric vehicles and other technologies while balancing the demands for affordability and reliability.
“We first presented our strategy to X in [late] In 2019, we found a significant match and now we’re working with a team of experts from both companies, “he said.
Vector planned to deploy the solutions initially in the Auckland region over the course of next year, but also planned to eventually make them more widely available in collaboration with X Development and other partners, including a Chilean system operator and a large US network Operator based in Indiana and Idaho.
“This model is still being developed with Google to see how the go-to-market will work, but on a global level there are very large demands on these types of systems and significant global revenues in these control system environments.” He added that the developments could make a “very strong contribution” to Vector’s financial performance.
X’s Moonshot’s vice president for the power grid, Audrey Zibelman, said the pressure on the power grids is strong to develop quickly.
“Our cooperation with Vector is rooted in our common understanding that the entire industry has to change. We’re excited to work with an industry leader like Vector as we work together to develop solutions by combining our respective areas of expertise. “
Mackenzie said research and development costs are part of the company’s asset management program, although it would take advantage of available research and development tax incentives.