Vector Technology Solutions and AWS have extended their strategic alliance focusing on developing deeper renewable energy insights until 2025.
More than a million smart energy meters in Australia and New Zealand are already running on Vector's AWS-based Diverge data and analytics platform.
At the same time, Vector has been deploying GE’s Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) and using AWS Outposts to ensure it conformed to data sovereignty requirements.
Through migrating enterprise applications such as Siebel, SAP, GIS and others from on-premises into AWS regions the company had already developed strong in-house capabilities, processes and tools to manage and govern AWS cloud infrastructure at scale.
Diverge, developed by Vector Technology Solutions, was created to help energy companies manage the transition to cleaner energy as the industry adopted renewable energy and transformed with the electrification of transport and heating.
Formerly known as the New Energy Platform, Diverge processes high-frequency data from smart electricity and gas meters installed in homes and businesses, so energy companies can better understand energy supply and demand across the grid and the impact of distributed energy resources such as solar, batteries or electric vehicle chargers.
The platform provides secure access to these data to support multiple and simultaneous uses across customer service, grid operations, and planning applications.
By providing faster and more reliable data analysis and alerts, Diverge can also improve power quality, outage detection and restoration capabilities.
Cloud-native and fully encrypted, Diverge uses AWS services such as data analytics and highly scalable and secure infrastructure.
“With Diverge, we can deliver five-minute settlement data to our Australian customers, hours earlier and more reliably," said Neil Williams, CEO at Vector Metering.
"It also gives us the ability to support other data services, such as power quality data, without impacting billing and settlement data.
"We’re expanding this system in New Zealand, where it already supports our advanced gas metering and network data services, so customers there can also benefit from valuable insights.”
Diverge helped customers manage renewable energy deployment, dynamically manage complex networks, and respond to increasing demand for renewable electricity to meet carbon reduction goals, said Shailesh Manga, chief operating officer at VTS.
"We’re excited to see the growing adoption of Diverge and look forward to launching Diverge in other countries around the world.”
Manga told Reseller News that as Vector talked with potential Diverge customers in regions other than A/NZ, specific requirements emerged.
"The different regions coming into play create new opportunities to have those conversations with customers as to how they want to implement these solutions, depending on their own specific requirements," he said.
More broadly, what local regions mean for New Zealand, the technology community and the growth and technology expertise and New Zealand businesses was "pretty exciting".
As the transition to cleaner energy and electrification accelerated, energy providers needed bold and innovative solutions to manage the complexity that came with intermittent and distributed energy resources, said Sarah Cooper, general manager of Industry products at AWS.
"When we started talking to Vector back in 2019 at the very tail end of the year, what New Zealand ended up representing was a perfect model of where we are out in front: from a very progressive regulatory environment, from a very progressive population base, out in front of a lot of our other energy customers," Cooper said.
AWS was able to partner with a company that saw the whole problem in a way that could make Diverge relevant to AWS' customers around the world and move the industry forward, she said.
"Also, and this has nothing to do necessarily with New Zealand but with Vector itself, the culture of innovation within Vector, the builder culture, was something we recognised some of ourselves in."
AWS and Vector developers talked daily and built side-by-side.
"I think our teams spend probably as much time in Vector's buildings as they do in AWS buildings."
While AWS was the preferred infrastructure option for hosting GE's ADMS as well, the absence of an active AWS NZ region and requirements around data residency and low-latency connectivity with on-premise operational technology seemed initially to rule AWS out.
Further research and trials, however, led to AWS Outposts, which offered the desired infrastructure characteristics – fully managed AWS infrastructure on-premises with access to AWS services for a consistent hybrid experience.
To run ADMS, Vector initially used two services on Outposts: Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which offers broad and deep computing and Amazon Elastic Block Store, an easy-to-use, scalable, high-performance block-storage service.
However, the list of AWS services supported on Outposts was growing.