Future-Proofing the Energy Industry with Virtual Weather Sensors
TLDR: Weather affects energy companies. ClimaCell provides them with higher-resolution, by-the-minute data from ‘virtual weather sensors.’ The company has attracted additional investment from the venture arms of two energy companies – GXP Investments and National Grid Partners.
Energy companies face weather-related risks in utility operations and grid management, maintenance and recovery, and market exposure. Severe weather puts crews in danger and causes power outages, while day-to-day MicroWeather changes impact demand and generation forecasting. Without detailed knowledge of by-the-minute MicroWeather – the asset-specific, low-altitude phenomena that often goes undetected – energy companies can also miss opportunities to optimize their assets.
No traditional weather technology offers both pinpoint accuracy by the minute and global coverage. The traditional weather enterprise relies only on government radars, satellites, and just 11,000 weather stations worldwide, with just 700 in the US.
The ClimaCell engine, launched in 2015, generates forecasts by-the-minute, in 500 meter grids. Using real-time observations from millions of new virtual sensing points like those from wireless and IoT networks and advanced in-house weather forecast modeling, ClimaCell’s technology takes a full-coverage view of MicroWeather.
ClimaCell’s virtual weather sensors are asset-specific and cover every point on the grid. This can help future-proof the energy industry, and two utility corporate venture groups agree. GXP Investments and National Grid Partners have invested in the promise of ClimaCell’s MicroWeather technology to provide by-the-minute demand response for the smart grid for business optimization as well as asset-specific outage forecasts for storm response. ClimaCell will also help with renewable energy forecasting, outage prediction, and other use cases.
Ashwin Shashindranath, Director, Venture Capital at GXP Investments, said, “ClimaCell’s concept of virtual weather sensors is a game-changer for our industry. MicroWeather insights, in particular, will help energy companies be proactive in addressing operations, management, and optimization.”
Lisa Lambert, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer of National Grid plc, and Senior Vice President of NGP, said, “Weather is important to us for disaster planning and for responding and recovering from storms, when we can get precise information about what weather will be doing in an area, we can improve readiness and reduce costs.”
GXP Investments is the investment affiliate of Great Plains Energy Incorporated, the holding company of Kansas City Power & Light Company and KCP&L Greater Missouri Operations Company, two of the leading regulated providers of electricity in the Midwest.
National Grid Partners is new the venture investment and innovation group of National Grid plc, an international electricity and gas company and one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world.
Read National Grid’s full announcement here.
* MicroWeather: Location-specific, low-altitude, short-term, actionable weather.