AES working with X, the moonshot factory to develop new grid virtualization technologies in renewable optimization push

Published on August 04, 2021 by Chris Galford

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The AES Corporation and X, the moonshot factory began collaborating this week on tools capable of simulating and virtualizing AES’ distribution grids in Indiana and Ohio, making it easier for the company to build and operate various clean energy resources.

“One of the biggest obstacles to shifting to a renewable and reliable electric system is having a complete real-time picture of what is happening on the electric grid,” Audrey Zibelman, vice president and general manager of X’s electric grid team, said. “We are developing new computational and virtualization tools designed to give everyone who manages and operates the grid the ability to plan, build, and manage a clean and resilient grid.”

Such technologies would operate within near real-time, and in so doing, represent an effort to improve testing and reliability, optimize the grid and increase efficiency. This could make it easier to build and operate additional energy sources, potentially reducing costs along the way as well.

“We believe the future of energy is clean, reliable, affordable, and accessible to all. By combining X’s technical expertise with our industry experience and insights, we’re accelerating that future,” Kristina Lund, AES President for U.S. Utilities, said. “We are proud to be among the first to embrace these grid virtualization tools from X in our smart grid strategy. Our goal is to build a modern and green grid to benefit all.”

For the partners, this represents the latest component in a 10-year strategic partnership formed between AES and Google beginning in 2019. X, the moonshot factory, was formerly known as Google X. This partnership is built on Google Cloud technology, using it to power new ideas for energy distribution and management, while AES provides all-day carbon-free energy for Google data centers throughout Virginia.