Optimeering granted research funds for major machine learning project

We are very pleased to announce that Optimeering has been granted funding from the Research Council of Norway for a substantial new project to develop new machine learning algorithms for forecasting power grid imbalance volumes. The project kicks-off in Q1 2017, with a budget of approximately 7 MNOK. The funding is part of the Council`s ENERGIX-program, and our project is among the few commercial projects fortunate enough to have been successful in this funding round. Optimeering’s team will undertake the project in close collaboration with Statnett and researchers from the University of Liège and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

This is the third time Optimeering has been granted research funding from ENERGIX, but today’s grant is by far the largest and represents a significant and positive development for the company. The two former grants (from 2013 and 2014) have both resulted in the development and subsequent commercialization of decision support models for the power sector, namely MARC (an agent based el-certificate market model) and PUMA (a fundamental stochastic power market model). Similarly, our new project will result in commercial models and tools for imbalance volume prognosis, for use by electricity grid operators in Norway and internationally.

The project, “Machine learning prognosis for system imbalance volumes”, aims to develop new and efficient machine learning algorithms for forecasting short-term imbalances in the power grid. Statnett, like all grid operators, faces high costs for managing real-time imbalances between supply and demand of power throughout its transmission network. Further, the number and size of these imbalances, which drive grid frequency deviations and thus negatively impact power quality, have increased steadily over the past decade. The drivers behind the increase in costs – higher intermittent production from renewables and tighter integration with surrounding countries – are expected to become stronger going forward. Therefore, being able to forecast system imbalance volumes has a great value to grid operators such as Statnett as well as other TSOs around the world.

We are of course very grateful to have the Research Council onboard yet again, and for their recognition of the significant potential – both commercially and for society more generally – of this project. We will be publishing details of our progress on our blog on a regular basis, so keep checking back for more info and updates!