NTNU and Statnett to collaborate on blockchain and machine learning professorship

Over the next five years, Statnett and NTNU will collaborate on a professorship to study the use of blockchain, ‘big data’ and artificial intelligence in the electrical power industry.

Photo: Statnett's R&D director Sonja Berlijn and dean at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology Geir Egil Dahle Øien last week entered an agreement to establish a professorship in the field of big data, artificial intelligence and blockchain.

 


The power industry is changing. If we as a society are to succeed in producing more energy from renewable sources, such as solar, wind and hydropower, and achieve sustainable energy consumption, new digital solutions are required. Statnett and the Department of Electrical Engineering at the NTNU have therefore embarked on a collaboration to strengthen the interdisciplinary focus on electrical energy informatics in the planning, design and operation of modern power generation and distribution systems.



“Electrical energy informatics is a new and exciting field of research. Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, big data and new market solutions will contribute to increased efficiency and security of supply in the electricity sector,” says Ole-Morten Midtgård, who heads the Department of Electrical Engineering at the NTNU.

We expect that machine learning, artificial intelligence and eventually blockchain will have a major impact on how the Norwegian power generation system and transmission network are developed and operated in the future. These are important areas, in which we are investing a considerable amount of time and effort today and to which the professorship at the NTNU will make important contributions,” says Statnett’s. The power industry is changing. If we as a society are to succeed in producing more energy from renewable sources, such as solar, wind and hydropower, and achieve sustainable energy consumption, new digital solutions are required. Statnett and the Department of Electrical Engineering at the NTNU have therefore embarked on a collaboration to strengthen the interdisciplinary focus on electrical energy informatics in the planning, design and operation of modern power generation and distribution systems.

“Electrical energy informatics is a new and exciting field of research. Blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, big data and new market solutions will contribute to increased efficiency and security of supply in the electricity sector,” says Ole-Morten Midtgård, who heads the Department of Electrical Engineering at the NTNU.

“We expect that machine learning, artificial intelligence and eventually blockchain will have a major impact on how the Norwegian power generation system and transmission network are developed and operated in the future. These are important areas, in which we are investing a considerable amount of time and effort today and to which the professorship at the NTNU will make important contributions,” says Statnett’s R&D Director Sonja Berlijn.

Initially, the professorship will focus on applying the technologies in areas such as analysis, the dimensioning of lines and installations, operational models for different levels of the power sector, as well as various market solutions.

According to Berlijn, tomorrow’s efficient and climate-friendly energy systems will generate a lot more data and be far more flexible than today’s. The need for machine learning and automation based on the real-time processing of big data is therefore expected to grow. By utilizing machine learning, a wide variety of data sources can be combined in ways that were not possible until recently, enabling improved and faster decisions to be made.

Moreover, the NTNU professorship will help to build new and forward-looking skills in the electricity sector. "In this way, we will contribute to the training of engineers with the expertise we will require in a few years from today, when digitalization has taken even greater strides," says Berlijn.

The NTNU’s Ole-Morten Midgard is convinced that the new professorship will help the Department of Electrical Engineering become an interdisciplinary center for the use of blockchain technology, artificial intelligence and big data in the power industry. “The professorship will help bridge the gap between computer science and information technology, information security, cybernetics and electrical engineering,” he says.

Midtgård is keen to emphasise that Statnett will contribute relevant issues and data. "In the long run, this will strengthen the NTNU's research and teaching in the fields of electrical engineering and electrical energy informatics," he says. The professorship will be issued in a few weeks from now.

Contact persons

 NTNU:
Ole-Morten Midtgård 
Head of Department of Electrical Engineering
Ph no: +47 418 01 986.
Email: ole-morten.midtgard@ntnu.no

Statnett:
Sonja Berlijn
R&D Director
Ph no: +47 40427845

Gunnar Romsaas
Public relations manager
Ph no: +47 97733716
Email: gunnar.romsaas@statnett.no

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