Vector is partnering with cloud-computing specialist Amazon Web Services to develop a new platform to manage consumer data for the energy industry in Australia and New Zealand.
The New Energy Platform will combine the data from the more than 1.6 million smart meters energy distributor Vector manages in the two countries with a range of analytical tools and machine learning to help the sector better manage customer needs and develop new products and services for them.
In a joint statement, the companies said the “multi-year strategic alliance” will draw heavily on Amazon’s internet-of-things systems to run sophisticated analytics on massive volumes of data to provide Vector and other utility companies with insights on network performance to help plan energy networks, drive smarter investment decisions, and increase reliability for consumers.
It’s not Vector’s first foray into ‘internet-of-energy’ technology, after acquiring rights to Israeli developer mPrest’s software in 2017 with the intention of helping it integrate customers’ systems into one platform.
The firm said that by increasing the capacity and rate of data collection, the NEP platform will allow Vector to deliver advanced meter processing from 30-minute to five-minute intervals in Australia by 2021 to meet that country’s move to real-time price signals in the electricity market.
Vector chief executive Simon Mackenzie said consumers are demanding cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable energy, and the alliance with Amazon will help transform how the energy industry operates to meet those needs.
“While there have been technology advances in the energy industry there has been very little close to the consumer, and that’s where we see our role.”
Auckland-based Vector is the country’s biggest electricity distributor. It also operates gas and telecommunication networks and in recent years expanded into battery and solar technology and electric vehicles to widen its product suite and help meet demand growth on its rapidly expanding home networks.
It has also expanded its metering business into Australia, given the completion of large-scale smart-meter roll-outs here and new regulation across the Tasman requiring the new technology.
Nick Walton, managing director of Amazon Web Services’ NZ commercial division, said the new venture will create 30 new highly-skilled jobs and will eventually help digitise “millions of energy network assets at scale.”
“We see New Zealand as a hub of innovation, and it’s exciting to work with Vector, a leader in smart energy solutions, to pioneer the NEP and deliver on our shared vision to drive a more sustainable future of energy.”