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Hitachi Energy-Google Cloud make energy data accessible

Hitachi Energy Velocity Suite Power Prices is now available on Google Cloud Marketplace, enabling access to energy data that can help with power consumption.

Hitachi Energy is collaborating with Google Cloud to put energy analysis tools into the hands of customers that are planning to planning to optimize usage to help save money or move to more renewable energy sources.

Hitachi Energy Velocity Suite Power Prices, based on the Hitachi Energy Velocity Suite application, is available now on the Google Cloud Marketplace. An API-based application, Power Prices provides customers with North American energy market data. Hitachi Energy and Google Cloud will continue to collaborate to develop and offer more applications in the future.

Velocity Suite Power Prices gives customers access to Hitachi Energy's database of 30 years of energy pricing and other related data. They will be able to plug that data into business scenarios and make more informed decisions about energy projects and investments faster, according to Bryan Friehauf, senior vice president of enterprise software solutions at Hitachi Energy.

The data is gathered and then processed using Hitachi Energy's data mining tools. This can help companies determine their financial or investment energy strategy when buying or selling power or acquiring renewable energy credits, according to Friehauf.

Access to energy data also has implications for sustainability-based energy transition strategies, he said. For example, large companies like cloud hyperscalers are huge power consumers, and customers can use energy data to explore how they can offset that consumption with, for example, solar farms or battery energy storage, and plan accordingly.

"They might use this data to find out their power consumption today and build an overcapacity solar farm to put onto the grid, because typically the peak loads are in the middle of the day and they can then sell that power back," Friehauf said.

Using Google Cloud Marketplace not only makes Velocity Suite more accessible, but it also provides business process enablement tools that help customers be more productive, he said.

Making a broad range of data available

The Velocity Suite tools, particularly Power Prices, offer access to public and proprietary data that different industries can use, said John Villali research director for the energy insights team at IDC.

"In that energy trading and commodity environment, there's a lot of data gathering from different public sources of information as well as the models you build in-house," Villali said. "I'm not sure if it replaces that -- at least from the trading-floor perspective, but it could be a third-party validation for what you're doing in-house. It could be a good tool for analytics groups, as well as traders themselves."

There are potential enterprise use cases in real-time power trading or data center operations, and Hitachi Energy's tools can be used for capital investment planning, he said. They can also be used for sustainability energy transitions.

"There's the boom in renewables and there are still a lot of utility-connected solar farms and wind farms," Villali said. "So if you're looking at that, it may help do some analysis on where the best areas are to put these from an economic standpoint."

Renewable energy planning becoming more essential

Forecasting renewable energy outputs can help companies understand when and where to use battery storage, he said.

To utilize battery storage to fill in the gaps when the wind is not blowing and the sun's not shining will be beneficial to utilities and market participants.
John VillaliResearch director, IDC

"This is going to become more and more important going forward," Villali said. "It's still in the early stages, but especially for utility-connected wind and solar, to be able to utilize battery storage to fill in the gaps when the wind is not blowing and the sun's not shining will be beneficial to utilities and market participants."

Velocity Suite is a comprehensive product that should appeal to several users that are serviced now by niche players for energy supply price forecasting and demand, although not everyone will need all of Velocity Suite's functionality.

"There's a need for real-time data to help traders understand on a daily basis what's going on in the market, but Velocity Suite is going over and above that," Villali said. "For example, they have long-term generation and transmission planning as part of Velocity Suite, but a trader is most likely not looking too hard at that."

Having this available on Google Cloud Marketplace should be useful, he said.

"With all these different sources of data, to have those all in the cloud and a centralized repository will allow these models to run smoother rather than having the data piecemeal and in different models all over the place," Villali said.

Jim O'Donnell is a senior news writer who covers ERP and other enterprise applications for TechTarget Editorial.

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