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GridSense wins the Watt d’Or energy prize

Zurich - The Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) has awarded the Watt d’Or 2015 energy prize to GridSense. Alpiq and the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUSPI) will accept the prestigious award in the category of energy technology on 8 January 2015. GridSense stabilises the electricity grid and saves costs.

GridSense technology is installed decentrally in buildings, and anticipates consumption behaviour as well as the load on the electricity distribution network with artificial intelligence. In doing so, it optimally controls electricity consumption. Load optimisation in a building using GridSense takes place across all the electricity consumers equipped with this technology, including charging stations for electric vehicles, boilers, heat pumps as well as photovoltaic systems and house batteries. The intelligent technology comprises an algorithm at its core. This constantly measures various parameters in its application environment, such as grid load, electricity consumption, and production, and incorporates weather forecasts as well as electricity prices in the calculations. Furthermore, the algorithm learns the behaviour of electricity consumers through artificial intelligence.

Electricity supplier, industry partners, and homeowners are the winners

The advantage for electricity suppliers: GridSense detects grid conditions and automatically balances loads in the building without affecting the comfort level of users. GridSense uses load management to stabilise the electricity grid, and grid operators benefit from lower grid expansion costs. The advantage for homeowners: They save on electricity costs thanks to GridSense because appliances consume electricity when prices are most favourable. In addition, GridSense controls electricity consumption and production autonomously and without any expensive real-time communication with the electricity supply companies, also ruling out any possible data protection conflicts. GridSense also supports homeowners’ level of energy self-sufficiency.

Alpiq presented the new technology for intelligent control of electricity consumption to energy experts in mid-2014. GridSense is being developed at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland SUSPI. Alpiq is responsible for the further development for industry and marketing of the product. Electric vehicle charging stations equipped with this new technology will be commercially available starting in the first quarter of 2015. Modules for boilers, heat pumps, photovoltaic systems, and house batteries are expected to be available at a later time. With GridSense, Alpiq is investing in the growth area of energy efficiency. Under its strategy, Alpiq is taking advantage of new market opportunities by diversifying along the value chain and moving closer to end customers. Today, Alpiq offers full-service solutions with innovative energy services and will continue to expand in this area.

The Watt d’Or prize is awarded for five different categories and will be presented for the ninth time in Bern on the occasion of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy’s New Year event. The objective of the prize is to draw attention to extraordinary achievements in the energy sector, and in doing so to motivate business, politics, and the general public to explore the advantages of innovative energy technologies. The jury under the direction of Pascale Bruderer, jury President and Swiss Council of States member, will present the Watt d’Or prize to the winners on 8 January with hundreds of representatives from the Swiss energy scene and the media in attendance.