MCloud AI lets buildings respond to signals from utilities

  • June 15, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Canadian firm MCloud Technologies is using AI in the cloud to manage the electric demand of a building in direct response to signals from local utilities.

MCloud provides AI-powered asset management. It has added grid-adaptive demand management to its AssetCare for Buildings offering. The company is onboarding its first 20 AssetCare customer buildings to benefit from this capability in partnership with local utilities in British Columbia, California and New York.

Through AssetCare, MCloud provides a subscription-based offering so users can automatically respond to utility requests to reduce energy consumption at peak times, an energy savings tactic called peak demand reduction, aimed at reducing concurrent load on a local utility grid when demand for electricity and the cost of energy are at their highest.

Any utility supporting the standard Open ADR protocol for grid interactivity is directly supported by AssetCare. The US Department of Energy recently released a national roadmap to have every commercial building in the USA become grid-interactive through standards including Open ADR with the intent of tripling building energy efficiency using demand reduction by 2030.

Conventional methods for connecting buildings to the grid required extensive manual labour, meaning very few buildings have found such implementations attractive, hampering widespread adoption. MCloud addresses this problem through the use of AI and edge connectivity to the cloud, which simplifies and automates the deployment and ongoing response to grid signals for load management.

AssetCare’s visual analytics capabilities add an enterprise layer letting utilities continuously track peak demand reductions at the sub-asset level. Likewise, AssetCare users can track their energy savings and reductions in their carbon footprint anywhere, anytime.

“The vision of making every commercial building grid-interactive is now a reality with AssetCare,” said Patrick O’Neill, MCloud’s president for connected buildings. “Buildings that interact and cooperate with the grid are the future of smart, efficient buildings and MCloud offers the simplest pathway to get there. When combined with our fully automated indoor air quality optimisation capabilities, MCloud offers customers a unique, single solution that simultaneously makes indoor environments safe, sustainable and remarkably energy efficient.”

MCloud has partnered with three utilities in the USA and Canada and is working with them to drive adoption of AssetCare through utility-sponsored incentives.

BC Hydro, the provincial utility in British Columbia, partnered with MCloud to offer certain commercial customers a direct incentive to make their buildings grid-responsive. The Bay Area Regional Energy Network in California and Con Edison in New York, two of the highest peak demand regions of the USA, are similarly partnered with MCloud to deliver energy savings.

This grid-adaptive energy savings capability is available for any current or new AssetCare buildings customer with a participating energy utility.

Headquartered in Canada with offices worldwide, the MCloud family includes an ecosystem of operating subsidiaries that deliver IoT, AI, 3D and mobile capabilities, all integrated into AssetCare. It has over 100 blue-chip customers and more than 61,000 assets connected in thousands of locations worldwide.