Voith Hydro and Hydrogrid completes pilot phase of cooperation

Milestone in delivering the advantages to the hydropower industry

Voith Hydro has taken the next step in delivering the benefits of digitalisation to its customers by entering a pilot phase cooperation with Hydrogrid, a hydroelectric power plant in Austria. The latter was founded in 2016 and offers an automated software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution for optimal real-time operation and dispatch of hydropower plants.

The software, Hydrogrid Insight, uses meteorological data and self-learning algorithms to predict hydropower plants in the power markets in an optimal way to increase profitability. By using the software, hydropower operators in Norway, Sweden, Finland, UK and Turkey will be able to benefit from up to 18% additional revenues and 20 hours less operation effort per week, the company claimed.

The software, Hydrogrid Insight uses meteorological data and self-learning algorithms to predict hydropower inflows and optimise water management while ensuring operational restrictions are obeyed.

In combination with Voith’s HyCon Automation and digital Intelligent Hydropower solutions, these effects can be further enhanced through an optimal integration of products along the entire value chain. Up to now, existing solutions were focusing mainly on long-term maintenance cost reductions and a safe plant operation. Together with the information on short-term impacts on power generation delivered by Hydrogrid both companies will maximise insights for operators supporting them in their daily business. This two-dimensional approach takes into account the assets’ health status and operation conditions and constraints.

Over the last six months, the parties have already successfully validated the strong demand for a joint offering of digital products in selected European markets, with the first contracts already signed in Italy and several requests-for-offer currently in progress.

Simone Canteri, CEO of Italian energy producer Primiero Energia, commented: “With this new digital product offering, Voith is once again showing market leadership by proactively addressing the needs of hydro producers as the industry is going through rapid changes – we are excited to see how our processes and bottom line can be enhanced with the help AI.”

As the next step, Voith and Hydrogrid will be looking to expand the joint market roll-out in further selected countries, and to offer its clients optimally integrated digital solutions along the entire value chain.

Janice Goodenough, CEO of Hydrogrid, said: “Joining our efforts with Voith Hydro offers us market access on a global level and is thereby supporting our vision to achieve smart plant operation for operators worldwide even faster. So far, we already saw a very successful roll-out of our product in Europe, and we look forward to taking the next steps towards intelligent hydropower around the globe.”

Uwe Wehnhardt, CEO of Voith Hydro, added: “Our partnership puts operators and optimised energy production into the focus as it aims to combine all relevant data for them. I am convinced that having Hydrogrid’s market specialists and software expertise matched with our domain know-how will be very fruitful. I am looking forward to see how we can both learn from each other in order to advance our offering.”