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Lightning Lab Demo Day set to showcase electricity innovation
Wed, 6th Sep 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The country's first electricity industry accelerator programme, Lightning Lab Electric, culminates on September 7 in Wellington.

To celebrate, Lightning Lab is hosting some of New Zealand's most experienced electricity sector practitioners and successful entrepreneurs to 'hack' the electricity industry.

In groups of 12, the attendees will be workshopping the following topics:

  • How might we better align the regulatory environment with innovation to improve the industry and people's lives?
  • How might we foster a collective mindset that supports innovation for a more flexible and resilient industry?
  • How might we better understand and adapt to changing consumer behaviour?
  • How might we use our environmental goals to shape new innovations in the industry?

The lightbulb moments from these discussions will provide interesting insight into the future of the country's electricity market, which is already uniquely placed for exportable innovations, according to programme supporter, The NZ Electricity Authority.

There will also be pitches from the teams participating in the programme, which includes:

  • MLabs, who are working on a solution using cloud computing and machine learning to detect and ultimately remove line faults before some current systems can even dream of it. With the ability to read 50 data points per second and create up to 1TB of data per substation per year (across hundreds of substations across the country), that's a lot of insight to be gained on the lifetime ‘health' of each approximately $30 million asset.  
  • emhTrade, the firm that created New Zealand's first peer-to-peer electricity platform P2 Power, is working on the next generation of their platform that will allow people to better manage the impact that their power consumption decisions have. Whether people want their energy to be cheaper, greener, or sourced from locals generating their own solar, the platform will give people a real alternative that allows them to achieve the outcomes that they want.  
  • Polanyio, the future ‘Xero' of the electricity market. Their platform combines machine learning with heaps of data to offer some transparent competitive advantages. It'll do with electricity brokers what Xero did for Accountants - make the market a whole lot more accessible, and therefore cost effective for business owners (or in this case commercial electricity customers like your local school or hospital).  
  • Ampli is a new business intelligence platform leveraging anonymised smart meter data to deliver game-changing tools for the electricity sector. A joint venture between Axos Systems and Counties Power, Ampli's solutions include tariff design and analytics, network planning and optimisation and outage management applications.

Run by startup and innovation agency Creative HQ alongside Callaghan Innovation, the Lightning Lab Electric Accelerator is proudly sponsored by a group of innovation-focussed NZ and multinational companies – Westpac NZ, Genesis, GE New Zealand, and Unison Networks, with support from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.