BluWave-ai, an Ottawa-based renewable energy optimization firm, says it enabled North America’s first completely time-shifted, solar-powered concert during a Bryan Adams performance in Summerside, P.E.I.
The August 31 concert at Credit Union Place used BlueWave-ai’s energy optimization platforms — the BluWave-ai Edge and the BluWave-ai Centre — to predict solar production on the day of the concert and adapt accordingly.
BluWave-ai offers grid energy optimization platforms powered by artificial intelligence and cloud computing to forecast and balance energy demand. It pre-emptively captures a sufficient amount of renewable energy in batteries to power the expected energy demand.
It seeks to solve the problem posed by fluctuating and inconsistent energy production of solar and wind energy. Overcast skies and weak wind speeds may prevent solar panels and wind turbines from generating energy when needed, for example.
The company and the City of Summerside say the concert demonstrates the entertainment and sports events industry can run sustainable, solar-powered events that do not require carbon-emitting diesel back-up systems.
Building a green concert
A press release issued by BluWave-ai broke down how the company’s solution functioned on the day of the concert.
First, the BlueWave-ai platform left enough battery capacity unfilled during the night of Aug. 30 to Aug. 31 to fill the system with solar production.
The energy optimization platforms could store sufficient solar capacity in an 890-kW-h battery to operate lighting, audio equipment and air conditioning.
By setting thresholds, the battery was charged with 496 kW-h of solar energy from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. BluWave-ai says it compartmentalized overcapacity to the battery for the evening concert, while the rest of the facility ran on wind and regular grid power. This compensated for a partially cloudy day that would have obstructed solar power generation.
When the Bryan Adams concert started, the facility used 1,173 kW-h compared to the average of 718.5 kW-h for the facility with no concert. The required energy demand for the concert resulted in the BluWave-ai system delivering 496 kW-h of time-shifted solar power via the battery, covering the needs of the concert and climate control.
Thus, the cloud-based AI optimization platform was able to configure, commission and operate a 100 per cent solar-powered concert in less than 24 hours to support the demands within the stadium.
Credit Union Place is powered by a microgrid with solar and battery energy storage system from Samsung C&T, according to Mike Thususka, Summerside’s director of economic development.
Devashish Paul, CEO of BluWave-ai, said in the press release: “Once the constraints were identified, the automated platform took over. This proved a compelling use case for time-shifting solar energy which is applicable for large commercial enterprises, electric vehicle fleets and for supporting the grid with demand response and resiliency without resorting to diesel backup generators and shows another example of our company’s live real-time deployments on streaming data and renewable energy assets.”
Demonstrating a smart grid partnership
The concert was the realization of a partnership between BluWave-ai, the City of Summerside and the Canadian Smart Grid AI Center of Excellence.
Completed in February 2022, the Centre has a wind farm, solar array, battery storage, grid connection, smart metering assets and a cloud-based AI optimization platform to serve as an AI test centre.
In November 2021, BluWave-ai and Summerside claimed to have completed the first end-to-end AI-optimized grid in North America. It is said to be, “the first industry proof point of a scalable system applicable to entire regions and countries for transitioning energy networks toward maximizing the use of renewable assets.”
The renewable energy firm has collaborated with local utility company Summerside Electric since 2018.
It is part of the city’s push to sustainability and energy self-sufficiency with the goal of being a net-zero community.
Thususka says Summerside will run on 70 per cent renewable energy with the completion of the Sunbank solar and storage facility, a 21 MW facility expected to be fully operational in late December.