Benchmark Awards Sustainability finalists for 2020

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Benchmark Awards Sustainability finalists for 2020

Tapping drones, big data and AI to drive efficiency.

This year the iTnews team was excited to introduce new categories for the Benchmark Awards to recognise efforts to tackle broader societal issues.

Today we reveal the finalists in the Sustainability category recognising projects that reduce resource consumption inside a business or in the wider community.

These projects made the cut through their savvy use of technology to help protect their environment while also providing solutions to end users that strengthen their business.

iTnews Benchmark Awards 2020 Sustainability Finalists

ITP Renewables, ThoughtWorks: ‘openCEM’

OpenCEM is a free, open-source capacity expansion modelling tool for Australia’s energy grid that allows experts to model how the energy sector can transition to a zero-carbon electricity system.

It optimises for the least-cost solution while ensuring security and supply by balancing storage capabilities and different sources of renewable power to achieve specific outcomes in different settings.

It can also provide detailed advice on when and how existing carbon-based power assets (ie, coal and gas generators) should be retired.

This project was a joint venture between ITP Renewables, ThoughtWorks, The Centre for Energy & Environmental Markets at the University of NSW, the Energy Transition Hub at the University of Melbourne, and ThoughtWorks.

Fujitsu: ‘Digital Owl’

Fujitsu worked with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage for its ‘Saving Our Species’ program to develop a tool that could simplify efforts to locate vulnerable or endangered species in rugged terrain.

The Digital Owl uses a drone equipped with a hyperspectral camera to survey remote locations, with the data collected then analysed by Fujitsu’s Image AI to locate the unique signature of different species.

A trial at Mount Dangar successfully spotted two endemic plant species with significantly less effort, resources and cost than it would take to hike through the area or for a manned aerial survey to be completed.

Read more about iTnews’ coverage of the project here.

LGAQ: ‘LG Sherlock’s Energy Detective’

Queensland’s 77 local councils combined spend $250 million on energy every year, but until now have had little insight into what they could be doing to reduce their costs or how they compare to other councils.

The LGAQ developed the Energy Detective as an online data analytics tool as a means for councils to easily analyse their energy use and anonymously benchmark their data against other councils - identifying assets that could be switched off and cheaper tariffs they could switch to.

The tool has already been used to detect when councils were footing the energy bill for assets they didn’t even own, and to spot anomalous price surges that soared over $50,000 in a month.

Stay tuned for future coverage of the Benchmark Awards finalists and case studies on their projects here.

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