Increasing Operational Efficiency in Utilities with Artificial Intelligence 

By Greencastle Consulting

Artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping industries across the globe, and the energy sector is no exception. Let’s explore three potential opportunities to increase operational efficiency for utility providers with the help of AI. 

Predictive Maintenance with AI 

Asset health monitoring represents an enormous opportunity to implement AI in utilities. Critical assets like transformers, generators, and transmission lines can be continuously monitored by AI algorithms. AI can analyze data from sensors in real-time, review historical maintenance records, and consider external factors like weather and demand to predict when maintenance is required.  

Machine learning models can be used to predict potential failures before they occur. Patterns and anomalies in data can offer insights that allow companies to avoid interruptions to service and minimize costs incurred by emergency repairs.  

Grid Modernization 

It’s no secret that electricity demand is on the rise. As demand continues to expand, the need for more granular, accurate predictions for power generation also grows. The accuracy of these predictions is based on analyzing huge amounts of data from meters and sensors that can then be communicated back to power generators to ensure enough electricity is produced.  

AI-powered technology has the potential to offer exponentially more processing capability than traditional solutions. Once implemented, these AI models can continuously learn to improve grid planning and operations. This increased operational efficiency allows utility providers to not only better allocate resources but also pass on the savings incurred as a result to their customers.  

Renewable Energy Integration 

Renewable energy sources like solar and wind continue to play a major role in meeting energy demands of customers across the country. The variability of these energy sources necessitates the ability to quickly analyze weather forecasts, historical generation data, and real-time conditions. AI tools are a natural fit for this use case – offering the ability to enhance the integration of these energy sources by predicting production from solar panels and wind turbines.   

The Future of AI in Utilities 

The utility industry is very cautious in adopting new technologies. Change introduces potential disruptions to service that can have huge impacts on the customers relying on these companies for power. When a utility company decides to make the jump to AI, it’s a can’t-fail initiative that requires a combination of project and change management to be successful. 

A successful AI implementation isn’t just about selecting the right tool, it’s also critical that companies invest time in preparing employees to adopt this new technology. Assessing existing skills gaps and identifying barriers to adoption helps prepare an organization to use AI successfully.  

If you’re considering implementing AI into your business operations, let’s connect.