Blue Pillar Enables Next-Gen Microgrids with Energy IoT; Part 2

Posted by Brad Witter, Co-Founder and CTO on Sep 18, 2017 10:39:07 AM

Picking up from Part I, as we evaluated the requirements from the Energy Service Provider, we realized that their microgrid needed to solve a series of complex problems:

First, our Energy IoT microgrid solution had to be able to connect all energy assets, such as emergency backup power, natural gas turbines, chillers, boilers and energy storage — regardless of make, model or vintage.

Second, it also had to be expansive enough to cover a diverse set of next generation assets that would be installed in a future-state, such as wind, solar, and vehicle-to-grid.

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Topics: Microgrids, Energy IoT, DERs, Distributed Energy Resources

Universities Advance their Energy Management and Carbon Neutrality Strategies Forward with Blue Pillar Energy IoT

Posted by Eric Reichel, Vice President Product & Operations on Aug 29, 2017 9:03:00 AM

In an age where forward-thinking organizations are under pressure to become more sustainable and energy efficient, universities come under some of the greatest scrutiny to meet net zero and lower carbon footprints. From profit-driven investors and Boards of Directors who regularly cheer their teams on in high-octane stadiums down to the tech-savvy and carbon-conscious students who fill the classrooms and dorms, universities are held to some of the highest standards of accountability, with no room for downtime. And while some of the more illustrious universities can claim to be on the cutting edge of energy autonomy, most still struggle with being able to manage campus systems existing of aging, legacy energy assets and buildings that are hundreds of years old to new state-of-the-art, next-gen green buildings and Distributed Energy Resources.

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Topics: Behind-the-meter connectivity, DERs, Building Automation Systems, Photovoltaic (PV) Systems

Taking Advantage of the Disruption at the Grid Edge Part 4: Parting Thoughts for Utilities

Posted by Kimberly Getgen on Jul 21, 2017 10:00:00 AM

As we’ve pointed out in the blog series, Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), particularly in commercial and industrial (C&I) settings, are mushrooming. The U.S. Energy Information Administration Between estimates behind-the-meter distributed generation in the U.S. C&I sector increased by 400 percent from 2011-2014. Navigant Research expects global DER capacity to grow up to five times faster than new central station generation over the next five years and DER capacity in the U.S. to double by 2024.

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Topics: Microgrids, Energy IoT, DER, DERs

Taking Advantage of the Disruption at the Grid Edge Part 3: Energy Network-as-a-Service

Posted by Kimberly Getgen on Jul 20, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Over the past five years, the utility industry has faced unprecedented technological disruptions brought on by Energy IoT. A plethora of new, grid-connected devices have formed complex IoT networks featuring a variety of energy assets such as smart meters, sensors and even street lights. But what makes these systems “smart’”? It is the data that drives them.

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Topics: Behing-the-Meter Connectivity, Energy IoT, DER, DERs, Energy Network-as-a-Service

Taking Advantage of the Disruption at the Grid Edge Part 2: Addressing the Chaos Behind the Meter

Posted by Kimberly Getgen on Jul 18, 2017 10:00:00 AM

The energy environment behind the meter is becoming increasingly complex. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States has more than 12 million distributed generation units, representing about one-sixth of the capacity of the nation’s existing centralized power plants. Navigant Research expects global DER capacity to grow up to five times faster than new central station generation over the next five years.

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Topics: Internet of Things, Energy IoT, DER, DERs

Taking Advantage of the Disruption at the Grid Edge Part 1: The DER Opportunity

Posted by Kimberly Getgen on Jul 17, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Distributed energy resources (DERs) are mushrooming, particularly in the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector. Consider this: Between 2011 and 2015, distributed generation in the U.S. C&I sector increased by 400 percent, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This growth represents a significant opportunity for energy and technology providers. Navigant Research says, “a new landscape is emerging in which a more sophisticated two-way grid of networked DERs is emerging which will pave the way for an Energy Cloud ecosystem valued at $1.3 trillion in new annual industry revenue by 2030.”

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Topics: Internet of Things, Energy IoT, DER, Energy Providers, DERs

Case Study: Health Care Providers Drive Energy Management Programs with Blue Pillar

Posted by Kimberly Getgen on Jul 12, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Energy management for healthcare clients is often a matter of life or death. When the grid fails, and extreme weather or other unforeseen circumstances impact energy supplies, critical facilities like hospitals must continue to operate normally to ensure the quality of patient care and safety. To guarantee reliability and reduce costs, healthcare facilities requiring technology-centralized monitoring and control of their Emergency Power Supply System (EPSS) turn to Blue Pillar. This blog, is about two Blue Pillar healthcare customers who capitalized on significant energy savings of $20,000 to $200,000 per site by implementing an energy management strategy using our Aurora® Energy Network of Things™ platform. Below, are their stories.

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Topics: Energy Management, Healthcare Facilities, Energy IoT, DERs, Case Study

Case Study: Energy Service Provider Drives Value & Innovation at the Grid Edge with Blue Pillar

Posted by Kimberly Getgen on Jul 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

What if you could navigate the increasingly complex energy environment at your largest commercial energy customers to increase engagement and offer new services without ever stepping foot behind-the meter? That’s what one of the largest ESPs in the United States asked themselves which lead to a nationwide search for Energy IoT platforms from companies with experience behind-the-meter at large  Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sites.

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Topics: Distributed Generation, Resiliency, Grid Edge, Energy Providers, DERs, Case Study

Getting to Know Energy IoT the Blue Pillar Way Part 3: Our Unique Technical Differentiation

Posted by Tom Ehart on Jun 29, 2017 10:10:11 AM

 

WATCH VIDEO

If you’re ready to unlock the value of distributed generation by connecting Distributed Energy Resources (DERs), there are three very important technical considerations to think about before you get started:

First, how will you connect all “Energy Things®” (aka DERs) — new and old — especially when they differ in makes, models and manufacturer types? If all DERs can’t be connected and controlled through a single network, truly optimized distributed generation and getting the benefits from higher level applications like Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems (DERMS) are impossible. When some companies talk about the Energy Internet of Things, they mean the Internet of Their Things. Most cannot provide ubiquitous network connectivity across all devices regardless of make or model. Instead, they can only work with their own hardware or software, locking you into a restrictive proprietary and expensive network. Look out for proprietary solutions hiding in IoT clothing.

Second, how will you manage all this data in real-time? The goal of Energy IoT is to provide real-time, cyber-secure data and control readily accessible by any app – like Energy Management, DERMS or DR. Without an Open API as the bridge to access data through any app, solutions are not going to be software-neutral.

And finally — Do you want to be in your business, or the IoT business? Many think they can build their own Energy IoT networks, but requiring their team to take on the burden of “site enabling,” Distributed Energy Resources behind every meter often turns out to be a costly mistake.

These three hurdles can be difficult for an organization to tackle on its own. Thankfully, Blue Pillar’s got you covered. Our Aurora® platform is purpose-built to create an Internet for All Your Energy Things coupled with one of the most affordable, “no touch” deployment models that can accelerate your time to value when needing to acquire real-time data and control from DERs.

Aurora’s competitive advantage starts behind-the-meter, at the connectivity layer at large commercial facilities. Our software-automated deployment app electronically surveys all DER and Energy assets and provides everything needed to connect these Things into a single Energy IoT network — from wire drawings to prescribing equipment lists for hardware retrofits, Blue Pillar automates a once painful process. Once an Energy Thing is surveyed, we wrap it in a little “Aurora love” — our unique Intellectual Property that is a software layer of network connectivity that IoT enables any DER or energy asset no matter the make, model or type. Once it is “digitized” it can be connected and controlled by the grid! Now your once-lonely device can be monitored, controlled, and connected 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Next, data is collected from assets and pulled into your very own scalable, super-secure cloud where it is managed and protected. We backup, recover and cyber securely protect all data being gathered across your DER fleet. Just like we’re thing-neutral, we’re also third-party software-neutral: your data flows into any application through our Open API for maximum flexibility. This flexibility also future-proofs your enterprise allowing you to change or add software over time but still having access to all the historic data those apps needed to be “grid intelligent” before they were installed. Think about replacing your cell phone. Just like you want your new phone and apps to have access to all your former contacts and phone numbers stored previously, Aurora transfers historic energy data os it can be available to future apps.

Finally, our Aurora Energy Network-as-a-Service (ENaaS) takes you out of the IoT business, so you can get back to work. It’s our version of Uber. Just tell us where you want to go and we’ll drive a turnkey, “no-touch” proactively monitored, sensor-to-cloud Aurora Energy IoT network. We own and maintain the hardware. We provide Service Level Agreements around your data and network uptime.

What if you had real-time access and control across a large fleet of DERs? What could this unlimited data and control unlock for your business? Watch this short 2-minute video to learn more and share with your colleagues. Or, contact us to find out why Aurora is the best choice for your business!

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Topics: Behind-the-meter connectivity, Energy IoT, DERs

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