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Vector's PRISMED project receives inaugural Commerce Commission innovation grant
Thu, 21st Dec 2023

The PRISMED project by Vector, a multinational initiative to capture, process, and critically analyse millions of rows of smart electricity meter data daily, has been announced as the inaugural recipient of the Commerce Commission's Innovation Project Allowance.

PRISMED, which stands for Processing and Analysing Real-time Information for Strategic Management and Efficient Distribution, is the first project of its kind to receive such a grant.

This innovation undertaking has mechanised methods for reliable access to near real-time smart meter data, creating routes to interrogate this material for strategic and operational decision making.

The venture was granted more than $750,000 in innovation funding by the Commerce Commission, with the objectives of reducing costs and enhancing the quality of service to customers.

This funding represents both a first-of-its-kind grant under the Innovation Project Allowance and a recoupment for Vector's investment in obtaining data access rights and establishing the capability to utilise such data from smart meters, covering nearly 87% of their network.

Vector's Chief Operating Officer of Electricity Gas and Fibre, Peter Ryan, commented on the grant, stating that it's more than an acknowledgment of the data's value to Vector. It represents a significant potential for other electricity distribution businesses (EDBs) to profit from similar strategies.

Ryan further added, "With 83% of all residential connections in New Zealand equipped with a smart meter, the opportunity for consumers to benefit from enhanced access to their smart meter data is colossal."

According to Ryan, the data procured from smart meters offers invaluable insights into the functioning of the low-voltage network. This understanding, in turn, stimulates efficiency and innovation in network management, eventually leading to superior outcomes for customers.

The PRISMED initiative isn't Vector's sole foray into a big-data future. Another noteworthy investment is through its subsidiary, Vector Technology Solutions Limited, offering a cloud-native, scalable, and secure energy data platform known as Diverge.

This platform allows network operators to process and analyse smart meter data, alongside other relevant datasets, to plan, construct, and manage their networks more effectively.

Furthermore, Diverge can expedite the approval of distributed energy resource connections, provide network capacity, dependable power quality where and when it's needed, and optimise investment decisions to enhance customer outcomes.

Overall, Vector states the fact that its data project received the first-ever innovation grant illustrates the significance of harnessing the potential of smart meter data, both for the company and for the electricity distribution industry at large.

Such projects pave the path for the future of energy consumption and distribution, and set the stage for continual evolution of sustainable energy management.