The Actility Blog

Smart Energies Expo Paris:
Connecting with Intelligence to Leverage Energy Flexibility

By Arnout Aertgeerts: On 6-7 June, our Utility Practice attended the Smart Energies Expo in Paris. Down a huge hall, 80 exhibitors welcomed 3000 attendees both from companies and utilities. Actility came in numbers (7 altogether) to present its new ThingPark Energy platform as well as to fight for the Technology Innovation Smart Award… Let me tell you about these intense two days as well as their climax: the pitching battle!

A flagship event for Actility’s Utility Practice

As a Product Manager with the Utility Practice, I was proud to present our newly born ThingPark Energy as the cornerstone of our Energy & Utility Solutions. The technology had been ready since 2013, then we trialed it with two major deployments (Orange and Veolia). And there you go, a fully integrated suite of applications for Automated Demand Response and Energy Management!

This energy platform is a milestone for our company as the origin of our name confirms: Actility comes from the contraction of Active Utility. It indeed unites our IoT technology with energy applications that we have been working on since the company was created.

The Smart Energies event offered us more than just a product launch opportunity… Last April, we decided to apply for the Smart Awards in the Technology Innovation category. We had the perfect use case to present: Orange’s battery project, flexibility management for grid stability in France, that was deployed in production in Q1.

Last but not least, Olivier Hersent, our CTO and co-founder, was offered to give a keynote on the synergies between IoT and the energy vertical, reinforcing our positioning as a leader in the Internet of Energy.

“IoT boils down to a digital translation of the real world.” Olivier Hersent

An energy branded booth to draw attention

My team and I were very excited to showcase a brand new booth, specifically designed for Actility’s energy vertical activities! Our gorgeous booth attracted mainly large industrial companies but also consulting firms like our neighbors GreenBirdie. Interesting enough is that some visitors who knew us for our IoT expertise were happy to learn about our smart grid capabilities.

Discussing the digitization of industries highlights the economic impact of an efficient energy management: it reduces production costs for industries and thus prevents skills relocation. Actility’s Demand Response solution automatically meets the electricity market need by taking every opportunity to buy or sell energy at optimal price levels while contributing to a low-carbon economy.

A 3 month-preparation leading to the Smart Awards

The Orange project started with a technical analysis two years ago and involved a very light investment from Orange and a lot of talks to comply with stringent energy regulation. The project’s ROI was short term, generating profits in the first year by monetizing the flexible storage capacities of their 7.000 batteries on French Demand Response services.

“The Orange battery use case is really impactful to both secure France’s electricity grid during demand peak as well as to create value from its passive backup capacity.” Cyrille Chevallet
Energy team at smart award picture

Our Orange Energy Project Manager further explains that “this project is truly innovative insofar as software development is concerned. It is a world premiere to integrate as many as 7.000 sites to achieve load curtailment in only a couple of minutes with no additional hardware needed to follow the curtailed energy data in real-time”.

Cyrille applied with this project in April, and we got selected for the final round to get the opportunity mid-May. We were to pitch the project during a 15-minute pitch and then defend it against the other finalist during a two-minute battle to win the award.

The Smart Awards two round battle

Round 1

I had the opportunity to pitch the project with my colleague Adrien Dore, Energy Sales Manager. This 15-minute presentation allowed me to give insights on the background of the project, and explain how it allowed Actility to build our ThingPark Energy product by adding new essential algorithms we standardized for the platform.

“The audience was highly impressed with this project’s very short term ROI, thus demonstrating our powerful technology.” Adrien Dore

Round 2

After the last rehearsal, Adrien walks to the stage where the Battle takes place, right next to our booth – convenient for me to handle visitors as well as to follow his pitch. Actility is competing against Sylfen, a secured large capacity energy storage solution. The public has one minute to vote. I can see all people around me voting… And immediately afterward comes the result: Actility’s Orange battery wins with 69% says the moderator!  Wow, we did it, and all felt so proud of it!

In the end, Smart Energies Expo and Awards allowed us to strengthen our credentials in the energy industry as an advanced aggregator and technology provider. We showcased our innovative solution for energy management by being a leader in IoT and a recognized player on the Demand Response market. We left the event with promising business leads including one for an end-to-end digital energy project that would include LoRaWAN deployment to manage energy consumption. Pretty good, huh?!

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Learn more about the LoRaWAN technology by downloading the Actility “What is LoRaWAN” white paper