Itron and Microsoft expand city and utility collaboration

  • May 25, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Itron is expanding its long-term collaboration with Microsoft to accelerate cloud adoption and the next generation of consumer and grid edge technologies for the utility and smart cities industries.

The collaboration brings together Itron’s energy management technology and Microsoft’s cloud options to transform how end users view and manage their energy, and how utilities meet the demands of a rapidly changing industry.

Itron is working with Microsoft to develop ways to deliver insights and benefits for utilities, communities and enterprises to reach their goals, including grid resilience, consumer engagement, operational efficiency and decarbonisation.

With a focus on security, reliability and value, the collaboration will address industry critical challenges, such as greenhouse gas emissions, carbon tracking, zero carbon goals, clean energy matching, data accessibility and operational insights.

This includes network visibility, asset management, outage management and insights into electric vehicle (EV) and distributed energy resource loads that are essential to enabling a decarbonised grid. The collaboration will deliver integrations to measure, report and accelerate the path to net zero for utilities and users.

Utilities will also be able to unlock additional value and data from their smart grid implementations, including use cases such as location awareness, intelligent voltage monitoring, real-time transformer load monitoring, EV and solar awareness, and active premise load shedding.

The expansion of the collaboration should benefit industry stakeholders, consumers and others by enabling high-fidelity data to be used at the edge of utilities’ and cities’ connected IoT platforms. Example use cases that will benefit from these data, analytics and integration include:

  • Utilities tracking towards net zero goals and engaging their customers around carbon management
  • Distributed energy resource providers identifying those who can benefit from their products and those who desire advanced energy technology
  • Utilities improving demand side management, outage communication, outage prevention and outage management

By increasing the number of cloud-ready offerings, the collaboration should enable faster deployment, increase cost effectiveness, and enhance security and resilience. With Microsoft, Itron is accelerating the extension of its advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), data management and analytics to the cloud in global markets.

The expanded collaboration will allow Itron to identify utilities and cities across the globe that can benefit from its existing technology and reach global enterprises with critical energy and decarbonisation requirements. It will help more users effectively shift operations into the cloud and take advantage of innovative and emerging technology to meet critical operational, service and sustainability goals.

“Expanding our collaboration with Microsoft is core to our commitment to delivering industry-leading solutions that make it easier for end-users to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve water,” said Don Reeves, senior vice president at Itron. “Our collaboration will provide analytics and data-sharing capabilities for utilities and cities, so they can optimise their operations and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

He said that as utilities began to deploy edge compute-enabled connected IoT platforms, a new level of collaboration and co-innovation was needed for the utilities to harvest the unprecedented opportunity for growth and creating value.

“With Microsoft’s advanced cloud technology combined with Itron’s industry expertise, we are optimising existing solutions and building new ones in an emerging and rapidly changing market,” said Reeves.

Darryl Willis, CVP at Microsoft, added: “The collaboration between Itron and Microsoft will enable utilities and smart cities to take advantage of cloud computing technology, in particular, edge computing, to accelerate cloud-native analytics, distribution automation, carbon reporting and provide an overall more flexible, scalable system that supports a distributed, resilient energy grid.”