Case studies

Applications of artificial intelligence in the power industry

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Twenty20 Solutions launches advanced security solutions for electrical substations


Texas-based electric utilities security technology provider Twenty20 Solutions (Twenty20) has released the SiteWatch suite of products for substation monitoring. The SiteWatch provides a wired or wireless, AI-enabled solution to a business's security and automation needs, whether it is on-grid or off-grid. The company's solutions for video surveillance, monitoring, and access control intends to safeguard electrical substations and the power grid.

Nature of disruption:

The SiteWatch has Active Shooter Location Identification (ASLI) technology which can record video and pinpoint the location and kind of shooting to strengthen substation security. Comprehensive substation security solutions must include ASLI which is a new generation of "gunshot detection" technology.

This system detects the precise position and type of firing and records live video of the shooter using battlefield-proven sensors and microphones. When responding to gunshot substation attacks, ASLI gives law enforcement a considerable tactical edge. It uses AI to separate harmful noise from gunfire and detects gunfire with a high degree of accuracy, identifying the shooter's location and alerting authorities right away.

The system also offers several hardware solutions, including portable trailers, skids, and poles, small do-it-yourself (DIY) devices, and possibilities for solar or line power as well as communication via satellite or long-term evolution (LTE).


Threats to substations including terrorism, sabotage, and vandalism are on the rise. Industry experts are highlighting the requirement for strong security solutions to guarantee the dependability and safety of these crucial assets.

The use of video surveillance and video monitoring systems in conjunction with ASLI to provide real-time visibility to substation operations is one of the main ways to combat these threats. This allows operators to quickly identify and respond to potential threats, stop vandals in their tracks, and provide the evidence needed to prosecute them.

Twenty20 has adapted by merging advanced technology into a whole line of transportable, self-contained, on- and off-grid capable solutions to address this problem. SiteWatch works to secure valuable assets and guarantee a steady supply of electricity by attempting to deter criminality and vandalism at power grids and substations.

Real-time video monitoring allows operators to spot possible threats promptly and take action, enhancing security and reducing power supply interruptions. Law enforcement can use video monitoring and surveillance to gather important evidence that will aid in the identification and capture of suspects as well as the more efficient investigation of situations.

GE offers digital hybrid compact switchgear for electrical grids


Boston-based company General Electric (GE) has developed a digital hybrid compact (HYpact) switchgear for electrical grids. The switchgear offers remote monitoring of the grid’s status from a control room as well as gives access to additional HYpact switchgear health monitoring capabilities.

These data from the control room help users analyse preventive maintenance techniques and predictive insights and apply them to save downtime and operational expenses.

Nature of disruption:

GE’s HYpact module includes its proprietary circuit breaker technology. The digital HYpact switchgear provides a power of 123kV, 16.7Hz. It is developed under the EU-funded innovative solutions in future stations, energy metering, and power supply (IN2STEMPO) projects.

IN2STEMPO is developing a smart railway power grid with an interconnected system that combines smart metering, innovative power electronic components, energy management, and energy storage technologies. HYpact switchgear is equipped with digital power sensors that use very sensitive low-power instrument transformers in place of traditional oil-immersed instrument transformers.


The company claims that its digital HYpact switchgear helps make the electrical network's unpredictability more predictable while lowering operational costs and environmental effects for the customers. Its 123kV, 16.7Hz HYpact switchgear has energised DB Energie’s 60-year-old Amstetten train station situated at Lonsee in Germany.

Thus helping the train station employees monitor their grid status, reduce downtime, and lower their carbon footprint. The use of optical fibre cables in place of copper cables will enable DB Energie to reduce its overall carbon footprint.

The new sensors and monitoring capabilities support DB Energie with more operational and non-operational data. The digital HYpact solution is flexible and has different applications for mobile (truck-mounted) substations to onshore wind substations.

AutoGrid develops utility-scale virtual power plants


American virtual power plant (VPP) provider AutoGrid Systems (AutoGrid) has partnered with Canadian thermostat manufacturing startup Mysa to scale and launch VPP projects. The pilot VPP project with American energy company Puget Sound Energy (PSE) aims to support a focused demand-side program to delay the construction of a new substation in the Pacific Northwest.

Nature of disruption:

AutoGrid VPP combines distributed generation, customer-owned flexible storage, and demand-side resources to monetise in various energy markets and turn them into revenue generators. It offers asset optimisation and forecasting capabilities that enable utilities and aggregators to expand flexible capacity and maximise the value of flexible resources in profitable global markets.

Its SaaS-based architecture helps energy providers combine and manage hundreds of assets as a single VPP and implement it easily. Mysa’s smart thermostats can be controlled by a mobile app and help customers lower their impact on the environment and monthly electricity expenses.

AutoGrid leverages its AI-powered VPP platform in combination with Mysa's smart thermostat technology for electric heating and cooling to provide a comprehensive and scalable dispatch solution for both of these technologies. It also includes other IoT solutions from various thermostats and water heater control platforms.

With the help of an extensive Demand Response program, PSE can postpone expensive infrastructure expansions through transmission and distribution projects. This can save ratepayers a sizable sum of money while responsibly updating their infrastructure over the following years without incurring significant upfront costs.


Customers and utility companies use smart thermostats for electric heating and cooling systems for home energy management capabilities. The partnership intends to offer complete smart control of high-voltage electric heating and cooling systems. This can help them to launch utility-scale virtual power plants using smart thermostat technology for grid modernisation.

The VPP platform and smart thermostat technology enable customers to access demand-response programs across the US and help utilities with flexibility in their grid systems. In October 2021, AutoGrid raised $85 million in Series D2 funding led by SE Ventures.

It intends to utilise these funds to accelerate the deployment of VPPs and make them accessible to everyone in the transition to sustainable energy. Part of the funding will be utilised for general corporate objectives to promote the implementation of the technology roadmap, worldwide brand expansion, and buy back some existing shareholders' equity, as mentioned.

Microsoft introduces live atlas to map utility-scale solar and wind


Microsoft has introduced the Global Renewables Watch (GRW), a live atlas that could map and estimate all utility-scale wind and solar installations across the world. The GRW program is jointly developed by Microsoft, Planet Labs, and The Nature Conservancy.

Nature of disruption:

GRW is built based on AI and satellite imagery technology to provide renewable energy data. It captures data using AI and satellite imagery across the world evaluating utility-scale solar and wind installations.

GRW maps and measures renewable energy data and permits users to estimate clean energy transition progress and also helps track trends over time. GRW initially mapped wind and solar energy installations in Germany and India and also completed mapping solar installations in Egypt and Brazil.


The GRW could serve as a renewable energy atlas and be easily available to the public. It can offer country-by-country insights into solar and wind energy production status and its development trends.

GRW can obtain data from satellites dating back to 2018 and updates the atlas every six months. It could estimate and evaluate a country’s renewable energy capacity and understand the impact of renewable energy installations on the landscape over time rather than as a moment in time.

The complete global inventory is anticipated to be mapped by early 2023. The data is used to evaluate scientific and technical validation after the completion of mapping. Microsoft is supporting the AI and platform technology for this joint program while Planet Labs provides the underlying satellite imagery, and The Nature Conservancy helps to analyse the output with its subject-matter expertise.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence uses proprietary data, research, and analysis to provide a forward-looking perspective on the key themes that will shape the future of the world’s largest industries and the organisations within them.