Case Study: Intelligent Renewables (Smart Solar)

Regional Utility Drives Renewables
Reliability and Customer Satisfaction

How can a vertically integrated power utility meet regional needs for reliable renewable energy?
With advanced weather forecasting that optimizes the hydropower operations.

The company meets regional needs with more productive renewable assets.

About the Company.

This regional energy development company is also a vertically integrated power utility, with thousands of employees and millions of customers. Its vision is drive sustainable growth by meeting the region’s need for reliable and renewable energy.

The utility’s energy predominantly comes from hydropower resources, which makes its energy supply environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The Challenge.

The regional utility’s key role is to provide reliable, safe, and competitively priced power. As the utility depends primarily on hydropower, it is subjected to high fluctuations in energy production due to weather variations.

In addition, extreme meteorological events often cause power outages, accounting for >60% of total power outage. Such events negatively impact the community and economy, making the issue a priority. To overcome these challenges, this regional utility company sought innovative technologies and expertise to transform.

What the Company Achieved.
Envision Digital helped the regional utility maximize renewable
energy network productivity.

Maximize hydropower production capacity with high-accuracy weather forecasts.

Envision Digital deployed its proprietary weather forecasting system (EnWeather) to provide highly accurate weather forecasts. Combined with the inflow and management system (Vista DSS) from HATCH, the utility company can now get a 3-day ahead inflow forecast with >85% accuracy, and a 7-day ahead forecast with >70% accuracy. This has allowed the utility to better manage its hydro dam water levels – maximizing hydropower production capacity.

Mitigate lightning risk to minimize damage, reduce outages and cost.

EnWeather also provides real-time, high resolution (3km x 3km horizontally), 72-hour ahead lightning forecasts for all transmission lines in the service region of the utility – offering accuracy of >80%. Based on a high-performance computing system (HPC) that combines advanced weather modeling, cutting-edge AI algorithms, and customer-specific observation data, this highly effective warning system triggers notifications for lightning events that endanger transmission lines. This helps the utility respond faster to minimize potential damage. Reducing maintenance costs and outages. And improving crew safety, energy reliability, plus end user satisfaction.

Act on insights to maximize hydropower operations and revenue.

At the same time, the utility can now act on insights from the inflow forecasting system to optimize operations, minimize the costs of meeting total system load, and maximize revenue.  

Enable longer-term planning to improve energy reliability and optimize operations.

Additionally, a long-term 7-month forecast is issued by EnWeather monthly. The long-term forecast of daily rainfall for each catchment helps the utility in its long-term planning to improve energy reliability and operations.