Opus One Solutions: Connecting the Energy Internet with Software Intelligence

Joshua Wong | President & CEO | Opus One Solutions - Insights Success

The proliferation of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) is having a profound effect on the utility industry, threatening to disrupt existing business models, as well as the reliability and quality of an aging electrical grid. The smart grid is playing a key role in addressing this trend, and driving an entirely new class of technology innovation to improve electricity network design and flow.

The real power behind a “connected energy internet” is the unprecedented level of intelligent power engineering algorithms and advanced analytic capabilities that allow utilities to perform real-time management, control and optimization of the grid.

While utilities may understand the value that comes with integrated data analytic systems, the question remains, are they using this data to its full potential as actionable information and grid intelligence? In most cases, the answer is no.

Opus One, a software engineering and solutions company specializing in smart grid technology, can provide real-time insights into how utilities can optimize the value of advanced data analytics, integrated with existing utility data systems, to create a “smarter smart grid” capable of solving and optimizing complex power flows amongst multiple DERs.

The Next Level of Grid Intelligence

Opus One was founded in 2011. In recent years, Opus One has successfully delivered a new level of visibility and control to electricity distribution utilities through GridOS® it’s real-time energy networking and integration platform. Modular and scalable, GridOS applications provide powerful grid management capabilities to unlock greater potential for distributed energy resources, including renewable generation, energy storage and responsive demand, while seamlessly integrating with existing utility data systems. GridOS also facilitates the management of microgrids from homes and communities to utility scale for unparalleled resiliency and value to the empowered electricity customer.

Smart Grid Pioneer

Joshua Wong, President and CEO of Opus One has led Opus One from a one-man consulting business in 2012 to landing a 13-million CAD project with the Government of Canada a year after incorporating, to now leading a $16.4 M CAD multi-utility North American transactive energy network project. Joshua’s smart grid focus started by founding Toronto Hydro’s smart grid department. While working at Toronto Hydro, Joshua noticed the emerging challenges and opportunities of integrating an increasing number of customer-sited distributed energy resources with traditional utility distribution systems.

Joshua is a licensed Professional Engineer in the Province of Ontario. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, Masters of Electric Power Engineering from the University of Waterloo, and completed executive programs from MIT Sloan, IMD Business School and Harvard Business School.

Breakthroughs

Opus One’s founding mission was to create a real-time distributed intelligence platform that could integrate DERs and distribution automation capabilities, with real time model-based power flow optimization as its core funcationality. As the team looked at multiple state-of-the-art commercial tools to build upon, it found that these tools fell short of the desired performance requirements. The team discovered that the missing piece was a robust, real-time distribution system state estimation (DSSE) engine – one that could go beyond traditional power flow methods and converge under the most complex power flow scenarios. Thus, the company recruited a team of PhDs to go back to the first principles of grid modeling and spent two years developing an efficient and powerful approach to DSSE that uses non-linear programming optimization techniques and interior point optimizers to drive the mathematical libraries that compute Jacobians, Hessians, Legrangians and optimization algorithms.

Opus One achieved a breakthrough in DSSE in 2014 with a debut of GridOS as the industry’s first real-time, model-based system for managing and optimizing the complex nature of DERs and grid topologies.

Identifying Needs of Utilities

Opus One is forward looking. They seek to partner with utilities to identify their needs and anticipate their future pain points and opportunities around grid management, customer service and business model innovations. Their solution enables the future electricity grid and they partner with other innovative technology companies. GridOS incorporates unique technology and intelligence that is used as a base for additional development and functionality that is guided by the challenges and trends that customers are experiencing. The firm has coupled its vision with these emerging trends of the modern grid to drive the direction of solutions.

Opus One is at the leading edge of providing a technology solution to enable transactive energy markets. The team creates win-win scenarios for utilities and their customers by enabling a buy and sell energy market at the distribution level.

Opus One is growing rapidly, in part due to recent funding from utility backed investment fund Energy Impact Partners and global energy services firm, ENGIE. Opus One has opened its first U.S. office at the Urban Future Lab, NYU Tandon, ACRE to engage with utilities in New York State that are focused on NY REV  the State’s plan to reform their energy vision.

Expected Excellence with National Grid

National Grid has selected Opus One to develop the first field demonstration of a distributed system platform (DSP), which will integrate distributed energy resources from the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) with National Grid’s local electricity distribution system. Opus One will partner with National Grid over the course of the next two years on all aspects of the DSP demonstration, from financial modeling to the design, commissioning and operation of a real-time DSP market. The DSP will communicate the electric distribution system needs of the grid, and in parallel generate potential revenue and investment opportunities for BNMC member institutions with DER capabilities. The project is aimed at demonstrating the future of the electricity grid, where customers have a greater role in how they use energy.

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