Creating technology for a sustainable tomorrow

In control rooms across Europe, modern-day dispatchers manage power plants automatically and continually adjust power generation by following the various energy markets. Until recently, this was a manual process. But not anymore.

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For many of Europe’s largest utilities, the automation journey starts with Volue. It begins with the creation of detailed asset models – digital twins of penstocks, turbines and generators. Volue’s Victor Eriksson had examined Enel’s hydropower plants in the models thousands of times before he got to observe the physical turbines and hardware.

“I felt a sense of awe as I entered the turbine hall of one of Enel’s hydropower plants in the Italian Alps,” he says.

The models create a robust foundation for automating production planning, dispatch, and trading. The end game for Volue is to provide Europe’s utilities with a tool that automatically defines the optimal dispatch of their portfolio, an important contribution to sustainability.
Every year, 315 terawatt-hours (TWh) are optimised by Volue. Among Volue’s international energy customers are eight of the ten largest European utilities, including EnBW, E.ON, Fortum, RWE, Uniper, and Vattenfall.

Solar and wind power plants require less detailed modelling than gas and hydropower plants but given their intermittent nature, they require something else – reliable weather forecasts. The intermittency of renewable power and the focus on short-term markets have made short-term forecasting especially important. Volue Insight’s market analysts see a staggering 1 800 000 000 daily calls to the Volue API. Weather-driven fundamentals and market forecasts are in equally high demand.

“Short-term, we tell power producers what price they are likely to receive for their production as well as what their aggregate production is likely to be. Long-term, they will get a good indication of what will happen all the way up to 2050,” says Tor Reier Lilleholt from Volue Insight.

But where does crucial weather data come from? It is collected through sensors and instrumentation spread around the world. All over Scandinavia, thousands of automatic meteorology and hydrology stations built by the Volue Industrial IoT team (among many other instrumentation and automation devices) collect data for organisations such as the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.
This data is not only crucial in the energy transition but also in tackling Europe’s new climate reality. When Europe suffered severe flooding in the summer of 2021, the first warnings came from weather stations like Volue’s – several days before the rain.

Volue’s role in securing a sustainable future is clear. And its proven track record makes us optimistic about the future.

Read more about Volue and their services here.