Artificial intelligence said good for smart grid optimisation
Director of product marketing and energy at VeritoneTatjana Legans says she is hoping to partner with companies from Jamaica, in providing more clean energy for the environment. (Photo: Brittny Hutchinson)

CALIFORNIA, United States — Jamaica is being urged to consider artificial intelligence (AI) for smart grid optimisation as a more feasible way of producing green energy.

Tatjana Legans, who is the director of product marketing and energy at Veritone – an artificial intelligence tech company in California, which develops energy software, among others – believes AI systems can be effective in Jamaica.

"In Jamaica, for instance if you have a lot of solar panels, all it takes is a cloud to come out under the sun and you don't produce any energy, right? But our software can predict that," she said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer during the renewable energy event, RE+, on Tuesday.

"It tells you, for example, 'Hey, between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, normally you would see production, but just so you note, tomorrow is poor weather so let's charge these batteries today, so that tomorrow when you are not generating any solar power, you can dispatch the batteries and it is still all clean energy," explained Legans.

According to her, the software consists of a forecaster to accurately predict energy generation, optimiser to synchronise smart grid assets, and controller to improve the performance of connected edge devices.

"We see a lot of applicability and a lot of islands around the world are doing some sort of autonomous control, especially with adding more green energy resources, because of the abundance of sun. Jamaica gets a lot of sunnier days. We see this software really being the key," she added.

The software, she explained, is very accessible and can be suited to a customer's needs. "Once you log into the app there is very flexible deployment on premise, in the clouds, hybrid, you can even pick the cloud you want it. In Jamaica, in a remote place there might not be any Wi-Fi, so a cloud solution probably wouldn't work, so what we would do is deploy on premise to ensure connectivity at all times," she said.

At the same time, she dispelled the notion that AIs are a replacement for human resource.

"I think energy has been very traditional, reliant on humans to do most of the stuff but it is impossible, given so many variables that are in play today. It is impossible for [a man] to sit in the back room and do all this calculation on a spreadsheet, it doesn't matter how smart he is," she said.

"Essentially, it is showing that artificial intelligence can do this in a much more efficient manner and it is not necessarily removing people from the loop, it's more like having people still make decisions if they choose to," she added.

In the meantime, Legans said she is hoping to partner with companies from Jamaica in providing more clean energy for the environment.

"We are always looking for partners. I think the key to getting to a more sustainable future to all of us is really a partnership. We already have a big ecosystem of partners and for us, location doesn't really matter, as the software can be deployed anywhere. Being on an island is the key too, because I assume that it is very expensive and hard to build infrastructure around it, and I know a lot of countries already are making commitments to clean energy. I think it really helps to have this reliable software working for you," she said.

Brittny Hutchinson

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