“Self-healing electricity grid” awarded the 2022 VERENA Award
VERBUND awards an AI-based controller and optimisation for the grid with “Stromnetz 4.0” (Grid 4.0).
Vienna, 16 November 2022. The VERBUND-E-Novation Award – VERENA for short – this year goes to the Viennese technology provider for artificial intelligence enliteAI and the Johannes Keppler University Linz (JKU). The start-up founded in 2017 specialises in Reinforcement Learning and Computer Vision/geoAI. This year’s VERENA Award thus sends out a clear signal for safe electricity grids.
“The rapid expansion of renewable energies is the only way to counter the climate crisis, to make ourselves more independent of fossil energy imports and to secure the European energy supply. Decisive action is the order of the day: each additional kilowatt hour generated using renewable energies is an important contribution to the energy transition. The success of the transition will also be decided in the electricity grid,” says VERBUND CEO Michael Strugl. “More volatile types of renewable energy and increasing decentralisation of generation require more resilient and more intelligent electricity grids. That is why the winning project “Electricity Grid 4.0” is accorded such importance. These are precisely the solutions we need on our journey to the energy transition together.”
Intelligent solution for complex challenges
Electricity is as complicated as it is precious. Consumption and generation must be constantly in balance in the grid. But how is electricity managed intelligently in order to guarantee this as well as possible in the event of fluctuations? In the “self-healing” Electricity Grid 4.0 from enliteAI, that is elicited by artificial intelligence. The unique method of the young Viennese start-up is supported by an AI-based system that identifies problems on the grid in real time and can initiate countermeasures. Intelligently controlling the flow of electricity can thus save costs and CO2 emissions, which would otherwise arise from short-term bottleneck management. In 2021, the innovative team took 3rd place for the development of “Electricity Grid 4.0” in cooperation with the Institute for Machine Learning and Ellis Unit Linz in the global “I2rpn Challenge” (Learning to Run a Power Network is an international competition for automated learning, which is organised by EPRI and RTE, the French transmission grid operator).
Two other companies were nominated for the 2022 VERENA prize:
Austria Email AG and World-Direct eBusiness solutions GmbH in cooperation with the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) with the project “The smartBoiler ECO Grid from Austria”
Dynell GmbH in cooperation with the Linz Center of Mechatronics (LCM) and International Power Electronic Consulting (IPEC) with the project “Highly efficient modular ground electricity supply”
The VERBUND-E-Novation Award (VERENA) was presented this year for the 20th time by the leading Austrian electricity company VERBUND for innovative projects on the topics of Energy Efficiency, Energy Management and Smart Grids, Electromobility, and Electricity from Renewable Energies. VERENA motivates industry and research to cooperate on the implementation of pioneering measures. VERENA has been presented as a special prize of the State Prize for Innovation since 2012.