The companies will collaborate to develop an hourly energy matching platform leveraging Microsoft Azure IoT and AI technology


Ontario Power Generation and Microsoft join forces to promote sustainable growth across Ontario. (Credit: Microsoft)

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and Microsoft announced a partnership to tackle climate change and promote sustainable growth across the Canadian province of Ontario.

The partnership aims at a series of initiatives to deliver clean energy solutions, while focussing on digital skilling programmes.

One of the initiatives will see the two firms collaborating to develop an hourly energy matching platform, which will leverage Microsoft Azure Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

The platform will match customers’ power requirements with local carbon-free energy sources to provide increased transparency and accuracy on their impact on emissions.

On an hourly basis, Microsoft will purchase clean energy credits (CECs) from the carbon-free hydro and nuclear assets of Ontario Power Generation in Ontario.

Ratepayers will profit from the proceeds of the sale of CECs. This will also support investments in the production of new clean energy in Ontario, said Ontario Power Generation. Besides, the revenue from CECs will help meet the rising electricity demand that will fuel the economic growth of the Canadian province.

Ontario Power Generation president and CEO Ken Hartwick said: “This innovative partnership will not only spur economic development in Ontario, but also serve as a model for other companies and jurisdictions to encourage use of clean hydro and nuclear power.”

“As part of OPG’s Climate Change Plan, we committed to achieving net zero as a company by 2040, and to act as a catalyst for efficient economy-wide decarbonization. Ensuring industry has access to clean energy to offset emissions assists in meeting that goal.”

Through the partnership, Ontario Power Generation has selected Microsoft’s Azure as its cloud platform. This will help the former accelerate its migration to the cloud and transform business operations, while reducing its carbon footprint.

Ontario Power Generation and Microsoft will also look into digital co-innovation opportunities to accelerate the former’s small modular reactor (SMR) programme. This is hoped to help in developing a service that other global energy providers can make use of in the future to locally deploy SMRs to expedite clean energy solutions.

Microsoft Canada president Chris Barry said: “We can only address climate change by tackling the challenge collectively. Agreements like this one with OPG will help Microsoft move closer to achieving our sustainability commitments, including our goal of having 100 percent of our electricity consumption, 100 percent of the time, matched by zero carbon energy purchases by 2030.”