Innowatts, a Houston-based company specialising in AMI-enabled predictive energy analytics and AI-based solutions, is expanding its partnership with Colombian utility Celsia to deliver more accurate forecasting and analytic tools aimed at lowering costs to more than 5,000 current and prospective Commercial and Industrial (C&I) clients.
Wind farm in Brazil, courtesy of Carla Wosniak
The move strengthens Innowatts’ foothold in the Latin American market, which is seen as a critical future growth area for smart grid and AMI-enabled energy systems. Celsia is part of the Grupo Argos conglomerate and operates 28 hydroelectric, thermal, photovoltaic and wind power plants with a combined capacity of 1.8GW, and delivers 6,500 GWh per year to over a million customers in Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Honduras.
The aim is to enable more accurate energy forecasting and real-time load analysis. This in turn will Celsia boost both total revenues and gross margin per unit generated, while also delivering more reliable, lower-cost energy to its C&I clients. The company will also use Innowatts’ analytics to support sales activities for its clients, helping to grow its footprint and further increase its long-term business performance.
The new deployment is seen as cementing a long-term relationship between Celsia and Innowatts, with smart-meter analytics helping to fuel Celsia’s strategies around customer acquisition and engagement. Innowatts’ Smart Alerts tools will also generate real-time load forecasts, allowing Celsia to more actively engage customers ahead of periods of anticipated high usage, limited bandwidth or extreme weather conditions.
“Innowatts’ tools are giving us a deeper understanding of our customers’ real-world energy needs” said Juan Alzate, Celsia’s Chief Innovation Officer. “That lets us serve our customers better, and helps us make smarter decisions around customer engagement and strategic growth.”
Sid Sachdeva, Innowatts’ CEO, added that Latin America is on the brink of a true smart-grid revolution and this represents a huge opportunity for Innowatts, and for clean energy pioneers like Celsia, to reap the benefits of smarter, more accurate analytics.
Innowatts’ advanced analytics tools use sophisticated machine-learning systems trained using weather and energy data from 23 million smart meters around the world. This enables a range of detailed insights into real-world energy use across a wide range of conditions. Such tools have proven their value in the United States, and Latin America is seen as a new frontier for smart grid technologies, with the region’s energy firms expected to invest more than $20 billion on building out smart grid and smart meter infrastructure by 2027.
Colombia has announced plans to achieve 90 percent smart-meter penetration by 2030 in urban areas, while Costa Rica is aiming for 100 percent migration to smart meters by 2025. Elsewhere in the region, Mexico is targeting 79 percent penetration by 2025, while Brazil plans to install 63 million smart meters by 2021.
Celsia and its parent company, Grupo Argos, have partnered with VC firm Veronorte to invest in transformative energy, intelligent infrastructure and construction-tech startups. Following a $20 million Series B fundraising round earlier this year, in which Veronorte and its partners participated, Innowatts is now also expanding into Latin American markets.