This afternoon we wrapped up the Itron Utility Week Knowledge Conference by attending a final breakout session titled, “Solar Energy: Can Technology Create a Win-Win for Utilities and Customers?” led by Nangy Gul, sales director, Itron and George Wong, director of smart city business development, Qualcomm. The session focused on the latest innovative technologies and applications to successfully integrate solar energy onto the national energy grid.
As the solar industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, the energy market is being forced to evolve in order to accommodate solar installations and manage production. In fact, in 2015 solar photovoltaic (PV) deployments reached an all-time high of 7,260 megawatts direct current (MWdc). But there are now even newer technologies and applications that successfully integrate solar into the grid and create positive outcomes for both utility and solar customers.

One of the technologies discussed during today’s session was the Itron Solar Gate, an IoT communication gateway that will optimize solar installations and operations by collecting and analyzing user data from solar inverters and electric meters. The Itron Solar Gate is currently being developed in the Itron Idea Labs, an organization dedicated to developing new business opportunities in high-growth industries and emerging markets utilizing Itron Riva™ technology.

“What Itron is doing is looking to create an ecosystem that is interoperable with many devices inside the home,” said Nangy Gul. “We are developing the Solar Gate to give customers more monitoring and control capabilities.”

Powered by Itron Riva technology, the Itron Solar Gate will address operational concerns by bringing together solar production data and premise consumption data, while providing granular data on the health of the solar panel relative to its surrounding environmental variables. This innovative technology is a prime example of how we worked with customers to identify an issue and develop a solution at an accelerated pace.

George Wong of Qualcomm noted that fossil fuels will be done away with altogether by 2080. Therefore, in order to support energy demand with mostly renewable resources, we will use homes and businesses as DER/storage. As a result, Qualcomm took some of their technologies that they have already developed to come up with Intelligent Energy Management Solution (QiEMS). When simulated in ten homes, they found that people could save up to $800 a year.
“At the end of the day everyone wins. Utilities, consumers and the environment,” Wong concluded.

After working closely with our customers and partners, we’re excited to share this new technology to more creatively solve customer needs. Learn more at https://itronriva.com/iot-solutions/solar/.

Thanks for following our blog over the past few days! This closes out another incredible Itron Utility Week – and we look forward to seeing everyone next year!

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