NVIDIA Turns The Tables With Innovative Power Grid Tech

Todd Moses
June 19, 2024

A dangerous, widespread heat wave is predicted to unfold for millions across the Northeast, Midwest, and parts of Canada this week, even eclipsing the 100-degree Fahrenheit mark in some cities.

Inputs that matter: "The increased demand for cooling will be a problem here. This could impact the power grid," AccuWeather Chief Video Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.

  • In the Midwest and Northeast, a heat wave is considered to be at least three days with a high temperature of at least 90 degrees, and for some areas, the mercury will exceed that benchmark for most or all of the week.
  • The impending heat wave in Chicago is predicted to be similar to the one that lasted from June 14 to 16 in 2022.
  • According to AccuWeather figures, at least 135 million people across the eastern United States and parts of eastern Canada will experience a heat wave this week.

The opportunity: Today, electric grids are mainly one-way systems that link a few big power plants to many users.

  • They'll increasingly become two-way, flexible, and distributed networks, with solar and wind farms connecting homes and buildings with solar panels, batteries, and electric vehicle chargers.

Zoom in: The average price of electricity per kilowatt-hour in the U.S. reached an all-time high of 0.175 in June 2024.

  • NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang said the electric grid and the utilities managing it have an important role in the next industrial revolution, which is being driven by AI and accelerated computing.
  • Like other companies, utilities will use AI to increase employee productivity, but Huang said that "the greatest impact and return is in applying AI in the delivery of energy over the grid."

Between the lines: The power region affected by this heatwave, the largest wholesale electricity market in the nation, has been designated a National Interest Electric Transmission Corridor by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

  • Hot weather alerts for the region expect 148,000 megawatts (MW) of usage for Wednesday, June 19.
  • Meanwhile, a disturbance in the southwest Gulf of Mexico is forecast to become Tropical Storm Alberto before tracking into Mexico.

Follow the money: Siemens Energy detailed its work with AI and NVIDIA Omniverse, creating digital twins of transformers in substations to improve predictive maintenance and boost grid resilience.

  • "Deploying AI and advanced computing technologies developed by NVIDIA enables faster and better grid modernization, and we, in turn, can deliver for our customers," said Maria Pope, CEO of Portland General Electric in Oregon.
  • If all CPU servers for these jobs transitioned to GPUs, users would save 37 terawatt-hours a year, the equivalent of 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and the electricity use of 5 million homes.

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Read More

  1. https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-forecasts/dangerous-heat-wave-looms-for-over-135-million-this-week-from-chicago-to-new-york/1659213
  2. https://weather.com/storms/hurricane/news/2024-06-17-tropical-storm-depression-alberto-gulf-texas
  3. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/APU000072610
  4. https://insidelines.pjm.com/pjm-issues-hot-weather-alerts-for-june-16-21/
  5. https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/ai-electric-grid-edison/