As a finalist in the UK Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) Innovation Fund Water Discovery Challenge, pump supplier Riventa’s total addressable market assessment of maximising solar photovoltaic (PV) system efficiency for UK water industry water pumping stations, has revealed an available Net Present Value (NPV) of £3bn.
The figures, which include a carbon offset of 8 million tonnes of CO2 over a project life span of 25 years, are from Riventa artificial intelligence (AI)-based approach to offset electricity use.
Riventa co-founder Dr Tom Clifford said, “Until now, conventional solar PV design practices do not consider how the underlying water distribution process would, given a new lower cost source of energy, be able to change.” He added that with the capacity-building support received since being announced as a Water Discovery Challenge finalist, Riventa has been exploring how this limitation restricts the size and number of PV applications in the water industry.
“Overcoming this constraint requires the PV design process, the supplier of power, to be coupled to network optimisation pump scheduling, the consumer of power,” he said. “The technical challenge is that both are interdependent; creating an iterative feedback loop within the design process, meaning that one cannot be solved without the other.”
In order for the company to overcome this challenge, and unlock the additional potential of PV energy, an AI algorithm is utilised to optimise the interdependency, creating an expanded PV design, with modified network behaviour. According to Dr Clifford, this not only creates a fourfold increase in the NPV over ‘business-as-usual designs,’ but it also clears obstacles on the path to net zero.
Riventa was said to be one of 20 new solutions selected in July 2023 as a finalist by Ofwat for its Water Discovery Challenge. Riventa’s AI-based approach to offset electricity use reduces the risk and financial impact of rising energy market prices on the water sector, and ultimately the consumer.
The 20 finalists initially shared £1m in funding, as well as important capacity-building support. Up to 10 companies will go on to be awarded up to £450,000 each, to develop and test their ideas. Winners are due to be announced in February 2024.