Customer Stories / Energy & Utilities / Australia
Evergen Powers the Global Transition to Renewable Energy with Software Platform on AWS
Evergen migrated its application environment to AWS, leveraging Amazon S3, Amazon EKS, and Amazon Athena to scale on demand to support business growth, store telemetry data more cost-effectively, and make faster energy decisions.
Evergen is an Australian software provider and startup that helps customers maximise the benefit from deploying renewable technologies. To increase scalability and performance while cutting costs, the company moved its DERMS software platform to AWS.
Evergen's DERMS platform runs on Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), storing telemetry data in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and analyzing it with Amazon Athena. As a result, Evergen can scale DERMS on demand, reduce intelligent optimisation costs per site, manage energy price fluctuations in a five-minute timeframe, and make better, more accurate energy usage predictions.
Opportunity | Facilitating Renewable Energy Adoption
By 2050, it is estimated that 90 percent of the world’s electricity will come from renewable energy sources like sunlight, water, and wind. Australia-based Evergen wants to help power and energy vendors and consumers meet that goal by optimising energy supply chains. “We exist to accelerate the world’s transition to renewable energy,” says Nick McGrath, chief technology officer at Evergen, “and we do that by designing software to aid in that transition.”
Evergen’s primary software platform is the Distributed Energy Resource Management System (DERMS), which supports the management and optimisation of distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar panels and commercial batteries. DERMS provides configurable dashboards that give customers a single-pane-of-glass view of energy resources. “With a centralised view, customers can easily see how they’re tracking against expectations, so they can optimise deployed resources to reduce costs for retailers and ultimately end customers,” McGrath explains.
Several of Evergen’s applications receive telemetry data from sensors attached to batteries, and the company found it needed a better way to scale as business grew. “Because of the way our platform was architected, our only option was to scale vertically to address growing volumes of telemetry data. Initially, we tried to allocate additional resources to our IT environment, but we soon realised that was an inefficient approach,” says McGrath.
In addition, Evergen sought to decrease operational costs. The company was paying around A$30 per site every month to run virtual machines—for thousands of customer sites. Evergen also needed to speed up the DERMS platform. “In Australia, energy prices change every five minutes, so if we optimised sites based on a five-minute period in a linear fashion, we could entirely miss a price period and optimise for the wrong price,” McGrath explains.
By responding swiftly to energy price fluctuations during a five-minute window, we can better help our customers make or save money, which supports our goal of helping the world transition to renewable energy faster.”
Chief Technology Officer, Evergen
Solution | Collecting, Storing, and Analyzing Telemetry Data on AWS
To save on costs and increase performance, Evergen decided to rearchitect its platform from the ground up and move its environment, including the DERMS platform, to Amazon Web Services (AWS). “Our engineers were familiar with AWS, and we appreciated that AWS supported our new architecture and infrastructure-as-code approach,” says McGrath.
The DERMS environment now runs on Amazon EKS. The platform compiles telemetry data from thousands of houses, buildings, and generation assets locally and globally—including data on solar panels, batteries, and electricity meters, as well as weather and pricing data—and stores it in Amazon S3. Evergen uses Amazon Athena, an interactive query service, to analyse the telemetry data directly from Amazon S3.
By leveraging Amazon S3 and Amazon Athena, Evergen can easily gauge battery performance and visualise how much total energy is used at a customer site. It can also accurately forecast how much electricity the site’s solar panels will produce and how much energy will be consumed at the site over the next 48 hours.
“We use weather, pricing, and energy usage data to predict solar energy production and energy needs to optimise battery deployment. This helps us generate an optimal plan for either serving a site's energy needs, storing the energy from solar panels for later use, or selling it back to the grid.” McGrath says.
Outcome | Making Faster, More Accurate Energy Decisions
By transitioning DERMS to AWS, Evergen can scale horizontally on demand instead of adding more virtual machines to meet business growth. For example, the company can scale to support 21 billion prediction data points per month. Furthermore, by leveraging Amazon S3 to store data, Evergen has massively cut its operational costs, with intelligent control optimisation at each site now running for 30 cents instead of the previous A$30.
Evergen has also improved its application performance: It can now respond to energy price fluctuations within the desired five-minute window. Using AWS, the organisation can process and store 510 new telemetry samples per second, as well as issue and distribute 21 site commands per second. By running everything in parallel on AWS, the company has seen increased performance, more accurate pricing, and faster decision-making. “By responding swiftly to energy price fluctuations during a five-minute window, we can better help our customers make or save money, which supports our goal of helping the world transition to renewable energy faster,” adds McGrath.
Today, Evergen is exploring the use of AWS serverless technologies to further increase scalability and agility, and the company is in the process of evaluating AWS Marketplace as a way to reduce the barrier of entry for customers wanting to access DERMS. “We’ve gained scalability, performance, and cost savings on AWS. This allows us to make our platform more accessible to workloads, wherever the model fits,” McGrath says.
To learn more, visit aws.amazon.com/startups.
Evergen provides software platforms that enables digital optimisation of the energy supply chain, maximising the benefit from deployment of renewable technologies. These include utility-scale generation and storage assets, C&I sites, homes, and businesses with solar and storage, and other devices. Its systems are used by OEMs, installers, electricity retailers, networks, asset owners and operators, and consumers to ensure optimum function of their assets.
AWS Services Used
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed Kubernetes service to run Kubernetes in the AWS cloud and on-premises data centers.
Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service offering industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.
Amazon Athena is a serverless, interactive analytics service built on open-source frameworks, supporting open-table and file formats.
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