Powel and BKK Nett to build the energy sectors first virtual robot

The virtual robot for automated grid process automation is a new software solution from Powel that is able to handle large amounts of data and convert it into the foundation for decision-making. This provides the grid operator with quick and critically important insights into how situations should be handled. In order to reduce the consequences of operational disruptions in the power grid, the virtual robot will be able to trigger automatic actions without human intervention.

The innovation project, based on the development methodologies of lean start-up and co-creation focuses on digital grid operations and utilises technology and domain competency in order to demonstrate how automated remote control of the grid can reduce the impact of a power outage and the need for grid reinvestments. This project aims to develop an IT solution, which comprises of data gathering, analyses and logic for automatic localisation, and isolation of faults and recovery.

Using BKK Nett’s grid as pilot, Powel and BKK will develop, test and verify how a virtual robot can contribute to real-time grid operations in a digitised world characterised by large amounts of information needing to be processed and translated into action at a fast pace. 

“BKK Nett’s aim is to deliver high quality and low cost products and services to our customers. In order to do this, we are dependent on modernisation and innovative thinking when it comes to solving our tasks and problems,” says Hans Terje Ylvisåker, Program Manager, BKK SmartGrid. “We believe that this innovation project will contribute to both necessary change and new knowledge within the organisation.”

“With this project we are building the first virtual robot in this sector. This is only the beginning of the looming digital upheaval for energy suppliers,” says Richard Tokle Schytte, Solution Manager Asset Performance, Powel. “This co-creation and innovation project will set the standard for the collaboration methodology to develop the grids of the future. It will challenge the current way of running a grid company through utilising technology as a catalyst for change and simplification. We are so excited to be working with one of the leading operating environments in the Nordics to establish and train a virtual robot.”

This innovation project is the result of earlier cooperation between BKK Nett and Powel around digitalisation and streamlining of decision-making processes in grid operations.

The project has been approved by NVE (The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate) and Forskningsrådet (The Research Council of Norway). The project will run until 2019.