Writing for Datanami, George Leopold notes that the summer months are often especially challenging for power utility companies.
“[They are] managing peak demand while figuring out how to integrate intermittent power sources into the grid,” he explains.
“Increasingly, Big Data analytics tools are being applied to the emerging smart grid as a way to gauge demand while improving grid reliability and lowering costs.”
As Leopold reports, the Bonneville Power Administration, which oversees power distribution in the Pacific Northwest, is one of the latest utility companies to turn to Big Data analytics for help in managing a dynamic energy grid.
“AutoGrid Systems, a data analytics vendor to the energy sector, said this week that Bonneville engineers are using its demand response management tool to find new ways to anticipate peak demand and capacity,” says Leopold. “The power agency has been using the tool since February to schedule and conduct more than 20 demand response events ranging from 18 to 28 megawatts of power. The result was a savings of more than 500 megawatt-hours.”
According to Leopold, Bonneville has also used the analytics tool in a power aggregation demonstration that identified methods of managing and balancing abrupt swings in capacity and demand.
“As the smart grid emerges, analytics tools promise to play a greater role in managing peak demand while boosting ‘load-shedding capacity’ during peak energy generation periods,” he adds.
As we’ve previously discussed on Rambus Press, the use of Big Data analytics spans multiple verticals, including healthcare, smart cities, banking and agriculture. Indeed, Wikibon analysts see the Big Data market topping $84B in 2026, attaining a 17% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the forecast period 2011 to 2026.
Meanwhile, IDC estimates the global Big Data and Analytics market will hit $125B in hardware, software and services revenue this year (2015). Writing for Forbes, Louis Columbus points out that the Big Data and Analytics professional services-to-technology ratio is also set to increase 25% 2015 due to “increasingly complex” system configurations and enterprise-wide solutions.