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FlexMeasures: Smart EMS For Energy Flexibility


Guest: Nicolas Höning (LinkedIn)
Company: Seita (Twitter)

While companies want to invest in renewable energy, they want to be flexible enough to keep up with customer demand. In this episode of TFiR: State of Energy, Swapnil Bhartiya sits down with Nicolas Höning, Co-Founder of Seita, to talk about FlexMeasures and how it is helping companies manage their energy consumption to reduce costs and carbon footprint.

Key highlights of this video interview:

  • Seita has its roots in academic research about smart grids. Höning and the other co-founders met at an institute in Amsterdam while working in the energy sector from 2010-2015.
  • Höning explains that the overarching goal of the energy transition is to use as much renewable energy as possible. After a while, how much of it actually gets to be used will max out and we have to turn to everything else in the power system that is flexible, e.g., when to run heating pumps, manufacturing at different times, etc. Seita is working to automate smart decision-making about the best run times of flexible assets.
  • As more people turn to solar power, it inevitably brings in decentralized aspects. Höning explains that incorporating solar panels onto your house or company roof means you can make local decisions to balance your own generation with your flexible demand.
  • Creating locally balanced solutions helps the grid from becoming overloaded and how it is a case of looking at and managing all the assets together.
  • FlexMeasures is an intelligent energy management system that helps find the best running times for flexible assets. Users can input sensor data, market prices, weather forecasts, etc. and it will generate optimized schedules. It can be run locally or as a cloud-based SaaS.
  • Built by Seita, FlexMeasures has been donated to Linux Foundation Energy so it can be used by companies wanting to optimize energy because they have a lot of demand or they are looking to reduce energy costs. These include energy service companies, metering companies, or micro grid operators.
  • Höning shares some of their key customer use cases, e.g., a South Korean customer who needed to simulate car charging, a water sanitation company running a big centrifuge to clean water and move tons of sludge, and a vehicle-to-grid-living lab.
  • A big chunk of the costs associated with energy flexibility projects goes into writing the software, data models, and APIs. FlexMeasures was built to be developer-friendly so developers can spend more time on their use cases.
  • FlexMeasures helps companies report directly how much CO2 they have saved without changing a lot of what they do. Secondly, it helps companies make the best of their investment on new, relatively expensive energy assets because network operators would pay you if you help them avoid congestion.

The summary of the show is written by Emily Nicholls.