I have written about the power of optimization — here is a great case study showing how it can solve problems that previously seemed unsolvable. Ørsted, the world's leading offshore wind farm developer, has used FICO® Xpress Optimization to develop a novel digital energy optimization solution for designing an important part of their wind farms. For its achievement, Ørsted was awarded a 2018 FICO® Decisions Award for AI, Machine Learning & Optimization.
This Danish company has 30 wind farms in operation or under construction, so improving efficiency has a big payoff. In this case, they were able to achieve significant savings while reducing overall design time and improving its ability to investigate different scenarios.
What did they do? In offshore wind farms, the power produced by the turbines is sent via cables to transformer substations, where the power is bundled and sent to shore. With our technology, Ørsted developed a tool called OptiArray to optimally design the cable layout connecting the turbines to the substations.
What does this mean for the business?
- Ørsted realized significant savings which are applicable across their entire business.
- Ørsted engineers can look for new ways to drive down cost of electricity by testing many "what-if" scenarios.
- The success proved the power of mathematical programming in general and FICO Xpress in particular, encouraging other parts of the business to use the power of optimal decision making.
But it’s not just Ørsted that benefits from breakthroughs in energy optimization. As Sid Dash, research director at Chartis Research, noted, “Innovations like this will help to make renewables a bigger piece of the global energy supply picture.” Indeed, wind farm design is a hot area for the use of optimization — two years ago, another FICO customer, Wind Farm Designs, won the same FICO Decisions Award.
Congratulations to the whole Ørsted team!