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Artificial intelligence technology reducing Summerside's carbon footprint

Summerside’s electric plant on Ottawa Street. MILLICENT MCKAY/JOURNAL PIONEER
Summerside’s electric plant on Ottawa Street. MILLICENT MCKAY/JOURNAL PIONEER - SaltWire Network

By adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technology, Summerside Electric cut thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide out of its annual total emissions last year.

According to the City of Summerside-owned utility, the reduction equals about 4,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent carbon sequester of 68,000 10-year-old trees.

Summerside Electric and its partner company on this project, Ottawa-based BluWave-ai, started working together in 2018.

That partnership stemmed partly from the city’s desire to further its green energy leadership in Canada, said Bob Ashley, Summerside’s chief administrative officer.

“The City of Summerside is determined to grow a greener energy-producing community. Driving this ambition means maintaining an open mindset to new renewable ideas,” said Ashley.

“Working shoulder-to-shoulder with BluWave-ai put us in the lead nationwide with a machine learning solution to refine operational efficiencies and offset carbon use.”

BluWave-ai’s systems take pre-existing data, like weather forecasts, to predict renewable energy generation potential and future energy needs in real-time. That quick availability of data allows companies like Summerside Electric to optimize efficiency, cutting costs and unnecessary carbon pollution generation.

Devashish Paul, chief executive officer and founder of BluWave-ai, said the company’s partnership with Summerside is believed to be a first in North America.

“This industry-first is another step towards building the premier global renewable energy AI company accelerating the transition to a decarbonized energy industry,” said Paul.

National Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna also praised the partnership in a recent press release.

“Summerside Electric is an inspiring example of a municipality punching above its weight to realize more sustainable energy choices,” said McKenna. 

“Imagine the acceleration towards a cleaner environment with utilities from coast-to-coast-coast realizing a 10 to 20 per cent optimization in the use of renewables. That’s the truly inspiring story here.”

Editor's Note: This article has been edited to remove an incorrect statement regarding BlueWave-ai's country of origin. 

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