In the ever-evolving landscape of the energy sector, innovation and collaboration have become paramount. The SYNERGY Open Call has emerged as a catalyst for ground-breaking developments in the field, inviting pioneers to share their ingenious solutions. Among the remarkable participants, the INTERCAST App shines as a beacon of innovation, offering a unique perspective on energy forecasting. In this article, we delve into an insightful interview with the minds behind INTERCAST, exploring the app’s distinctive features, its role in the SYNERGY project, and its potential to reshape the energy sector.
Can you start by giving us an overview of the app developed for the SYNERGY Open Call? What sets your app apart from other proposals in the Open Call, and what unique benefits does it bring to the energy sector?
“The INTERCAST App provides day-ahead forecasting for network interconnections, such as TSO/DSO substations or DSO/Consumer delivery points. These forecasts are made using an ensemble of Machine Learning models, in which a set of base learners train on historical data and whose predictions are used to train an ensemble model, which will generate the final predictions. One of the advantages of INTERCAST and its inclusion in the SYNERGY Platform is the fact that any pre-trained forecasting model can be included in the ensemble, improving both the pre-trained model and the ensemble itself. As more and more uncertainty gets introduced into the power system, it is important for all players in the energy field to have an accurate picture of the network operation in the near future. Therefore, an app such as INTERCAST is an important tool to have for anyone who needs accurate day ahead information on the electrical system, be it for market or operational purposes. It uses near real-time data to provide accurate actual day-ahead forecasts and it could also be incorporated in the other SYNERGY Open Call apps, as most (if not all) included a forecast as a preliminary step.”
What motivated you to participate in the SYNERGY Open Call, and how do you believe your service contributed to the overall objectives of the project?
“We were motivated to participate in the SYNERGY Open Call due to our internal developments in the field of forecasting analytics aligning with SYNERGY’s core topic 1: Innovative tools for optimized electricity grid monitoring and operation. It provided us with a platform to further develop our tool, while at the same time valuing SYNERGY’s Platform. Throughout our participation, we believe that INTERCAST fully aligned with the open call objectives of expanding the outreach of the SYNERGY platform and analytics. Our service offered an innovative and valuable energy service that complemented those provided as part of the SYNERGY implementation. By contributing our forecasting capabilities, we aimed to enhance the overall objectives of the project, facilitating more efficient energy management and grid operation.”
How the activities in SYNERGY Open Call allows you to innovate in your business?
“As we are a Research Centre, being able to access and take advantage of the SYNERGY Platform, via the Open Call was immensely valuable to us. Elevating a previously developed solution using the analytic and computational power of SYNERGY in combination with its Marketplace with access to real and updated data, allowed it to reach a higher TRL, being validated in a real-life pilot. We also developed new skills internally during the project, related to web-app design and full stack development.”
Which category or group of stakeholders can benefit from your SYNERGY App?
“Any stakeholder that does day-ahead planning, whether these are operating grid assets, or participating in energy markets. They can be used by DSOs, TSOs, or market agents, such as renewable energy producers, aggregators, flexibility service providers, energy community managers, or even energy management service providers. Having accurate consumption or generation forecasts leads to a more optimised operation and better outcomes for these stakeholders.”
How do you plan to leverage the services developed in SYNERGY in your daily business?
“We will continue to develop and refine our forecasting model, using the lessons learnt from the SYNERGY Open Call to improve our tools in this field. We will also leverage our acquired skills in web development to potentially release web service versions of tools previously developed in research projects and turn them into commercially viable products. We will certainly be on the lookout for platforms similar to SYNERGY (or a final commercial release of SYNERGY itself) to develop our services on, acquire data and create new apps that allows to create a smart energy future.”
The SYNERGY project aims to develop a Big Energy Data Platform and AI Analytics Marketplace. How do you think this platform will revolutionize the energy sector, and what role does your developed app play in this transformation?
“It has been said many times that Data is the gold of the 21st century. If so, AI Analytics are the craftsmen that turn this gold into fine (and useable) jewellery. Platforms like SYNERGY establish a bridge connecting players from across the energy data value-chain, allowing for different stakeholders to monetize and extract valuable insights from data. INTERCAST is a piece of this interaction, as companies with access to metering data can now use it to plan their activities for the day ahead and other app developers can take advantage of these forecasts as well, improving their developed services with accurate forecasts.”
As we conclude our interview with the creators of INTERCAST, we are left with a profound understanding of the transformative power of innovation and collaboration within the energy sector. The SYNERGY Open Call has proven to be a breeding ground for ingenious solutions, and INTERCAST stands as a testament to this collaborative spirit. With its advanced forecasting capabilities and commitment to enhancing energy management and grid operation, INTERCAST exemplifies the promise of a smarter, more efficient energy future. In the grand tapestry of the SYNERGY project, INTERCAST is a vital thread, weaving together stakeholders, data, and analytics, paving the way for a revolution in the energy sector. As we move forward, the SYNERGY project and apps like INTERCAST remind us that data is indeed the gold of the 21st century, and with the right tools and collaborations, we can craft it into a brighter, more sustainable future for all.