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Climate-conscious utility companies are becoming data-smarter. Here’s why.

Matthijs Van Sterkenburg

Matthijs Van Sterkenburg

Microsoft, Applications & Infrastructure

Read Time, 2 min.

Ever been hit by a pang of guilt after realising someone accidentally left the lights on all day at home, wasting energy? Well, what if you were responsible for allocating power to 1.5 million homes instead?

That’s a lot of lights and a lot of energy that needs to be optimised to be there when needed and conserved when not. Utility experts, Hafslund, has a finger on the proverbial light switch for one of Norway’s major power grids, meshed across more than 40 Norwegian communities in the Oslo area. Instead of leaving power management up to best guesses, they turned to the data-crunching power of Azure containerised software, in order to monitor and optimise a network of smart meters powering this new climate-conscious era.

A better environment is a smarter environment

The Norwegian government is serious about changing the way we consume power, issuing a nationwide challenge for eco-conscious smart projects making use of smart technology. Working with Microsoft Partner Network members Aurum and Computas, Hafslund took up the call, deploying thousands of smart-meter IoT devices that intelligently measure power usage. A project of this size doesn’t come without challenges though, pushing existing legacy systems to the absolute brink of their data-processing capacity, and relying on sluggish third-party support for new developments to be implemented.

An insight-fuelled future

To speed up innovation and become agile, Hafslund developed its own meter-system software, using Microsoft Azure as its cloud platform. Recognising the amplified efficiencies of using containerised applications, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) was introduced to manage software containers and create automatic data triggers and workflows. Now, along with being able to respond to customer needs with speed, Hafslund is aiming to provide new, climate-focused data models to shape a better future with better insight.

“By running containerised software in Azure, we have a standard way to create, monitor, scale, and manage our applications. We move and respond to customer needs faster. That’s what agility is all about.”

-Ståle Heitmann, Chief Technology Officer, Hafslund Nett

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