Tucson Electric Power, Hawaiian startup use machine learning to prioritize renewable energy

machine learning

Arizona utility Tucson Electric Power (TEP) and Honolulu-based Shifted Energy are collaborating to evaluate machine learning-based load control.

Shifted Energy was selected as one of 20 startups for the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) Incubatenergy Labs program. As a part of this program, Shifted Energy will conduct accelerated demonstrations of its technology with utilities and EPRI. 

The company develops and deploys software and controllers that turn electric water heaters into thermal energy storage assets. This helps to stabilize the energy grid, absorb excess renewable energy and decrease peak demand, which creates renewable energy trailblazers out of otherwise hard-to-reach customers.

Shifted Energy will take this mission into its work with TEP, and install intelligent load control switches on residential water heaters. In this way, Shifted Energy will leverage machine learning to provide TEP with better load forecasting and load shaping. 

Shifted Energy is spending 16 weeks working with TEP and EPRI. The Incubatenergy Labs program is built for startups to demonstrate technology projects that will accelerate decarbonization, electrification, grid modernization and other electric power industry innovations. 

Shifted Energy’s results from its collaboration with TEP will be presented during the Incubatenergy Labs Demo Days on Oct. 19-20.

Shifted Energy CEO Forest Frizzell said the company is thrilled to be a part of the program, and is looking forward to presenting the results of the collaboration with TEP in the fall.

Ted Burhans, the Director of Emerging Technologies and Innovation at TEP, said the company is excited about the collaboration because it allows TEP to equipe customers with the knowledge to make smart energy decisions.

“By making slight adjustments to shift [customers] usage away from peak times, they can save money and make the most of our renewable energy resources, while helping us keep our service reliable and affordable,” Burhans said in a statement.