First Quarter Newsletter 2018

March 21, 2018

BetterGrids published its First Quarter 2018 Newsletter.

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Phase 3 UAT

This month we are starting User Acceptance Testing of the Phase 3 semantic searching features.

The key enhancement is our ‘natural language processing’ engine. This new engine allows users to easily search the repository with more intuitive English phrases or questions, similar to how they use Google or Bing to search the web. We are also delivering native support for new model formats, including OpenDSS, RED, and PowerWorld.

Please contact us if you are interested in volunteering to test, curate, have a model to submit, or new features to suggest.

Industry Activities

The GridBright team recently returned from the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, where we had a booth in the Technology Showcase to present the latest work on the BetterGrids Repository. You can read the report on our new Blog at GridBright.com/news.

Other GRID DATA projects were also represented, including NREL who recently loaded their new Bay Area Synthetic Distribution Grid dataset into the Repository. It is a distribution grid model that is more than two orders of magnitude larger than any other public dataset.

Last month, Ali Vojdani gave a presentation on behalf of BetterGrids to the UC Berkeley Simons Institute, a venue for some of the world’s leading researchers and scholars in theoretical computer science. Attendees from around the globe were excited to hear about new tools and data supporting their work in energy optimization algorithms and methods.

Research & Development

With Phase 3 development wrapping up, our R&D focus has shifted to exploring spin-off ideas and new value-added services we could integrate with the Repository. During the last quarter we submitted 4 different concept papers to ARPA-E OPEN2018, including one to build a solution for securely sharing FERC ‘Critical Energy Infrastructure Information (CEII)’ grid models and data.

BetterGrids Self-Funding

We’ve begun efforts to transition BetterGrids to a self-funding business model with two separate campaigns. First, we are actively marketing our Private Data Repositories to R&D projects, building off our success with several DOE ENERGISE projects. Second, we launched a fundraising drive to support Grid Resiliency Education & Research through private donations.
More information about BetterGrids services and our non-profit business model can be found  at BetterGrids.org/foundation.

Quarterly Repository Metrics

In the latest quarter, we added a few very large models, including NREL’s Bay Area Synthetic Distribution Grid. The size of our database is growing much faster than model numbers.
We also added 22 new user accounts. Downloads grew another 25% to over 50,000 since we launched last April. There is a rich pipeline of new grid models in the making by the size other GRID DATA projects coming to the Repository later this year.

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