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AI Sparks a New Era for Electric Grid, Says Nvidia CEO

Daniel Kim Views  

“The future of digital intelligence is quite bright, and so the future of the energy sector is bright, too.”

Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia, made this statement at the annual meeting of Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a U.S. and international utility association, on Tuesday, June 18th.

Huang emphasized that the power grid and the utilities managing it play a crucial role in the next industrial revolution, driven by AI and accelerated computing.

During a discussion with Pedro Pizarro, chair of EEI and president and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison, one of the largest power companies in the U.S., Huang stated that the greatest influence and profits from artificial intelligence (AI) are found in its application to energy supply through the power grid. He provided an example of how AI could be utilized in the power grid, suggesting that smart meters could enable customers to sell excess power to their neighbors.

“You will connect resources and users, just like Google, so your power grid becomes a smart network with a digital layer like an app store for energy,” he said.

“My sense is, like previous industrial revolutions, [AI] will drive productivity to levels we’ve never seen,” he added.

Nvidia reported that AI is being applied across the entire power grid thanks to a broad ecosystem of companies using its technology.

At a recent GTC session, utility supplier Hubbell and startup Utilidata, a member of the Nvidia Inception Program, explained the next-generation smart meters using the Nvidia Jetson platform. Nvidia Jetson is a deployed platform so utilities can use AI models at the edge to process and analyze real-time power grid data. Deloitte recently announced support for such plans.

In a separate GTC session, Siemens Energy detailed its work using AI and Nvidia Omniverse to build a digital twin of a substation transformer to improve predictive maintenance and strengthen power grid resilience. Siemens Gamesa also showed a video introducing how it optimized turbine placement at a large wind farm through Omniverse and accelerated computing.

“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.

In his recent keynote speech at Computex, Huang mentioned that over the past eight years, Nvidia has improved the energy efficiency of AI inference execution in state-of-the-art large language models (LLM) by 45,000 times.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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