Envision keen to be holistic power platform

Shanghai-based Envision Energy is looking to advance itself as a major name in the digitization of the electric power industry.

The company’s most identifiable business is as the world’s largest wind turbine maker but chief executive Lei Zhang wants the company to accelerate the development of its digital offering, with a vision for a global “ecosystem” of energy in which solar and wind farms, power plants, utilities, big electricity customers and all of the application and software developers that support them are connected to each other on a single, digital platform.
Envision Energy
The company wants to serve as an “enabler,” Zhang said in an interview in San Francisco, where he announced an alliance with companies including Microsoft andà‚ Accenture that’ll promote digitalization in the energy industry.

The system is about “connecting so many assets around the world so that any application developer can plug in like the Apple Store,” Zhang said. “We’re helping them reach more customers.”

The Internet of Things is growing in influence in the power sector with technologies are giving people more power over their energy demand.

Envision has offered a platform for power generators for years as part of its digital-services unit. Developers that have linked to it include Sonnen GmbH and AutoGrid. The system already manages about 100 GW of power resources, with the majority of that being wind, solar and storage resources, according to Zhang.

Envision’s goal now is to “go beyond renewables, go beyond generation,” he said. “We are thinking about it holistically — generation, distribution, consumption.”

Zhang pointed to Mexico as a market that could be particularly fruitful due to its emerging wind sector. “The returns are high” for Envision there because few competitors can offer the software, hardware and financing services the market needs, he said. He described the country’s renewable energy business as a “complicated and also promising one” that’s still in the early stages of being developed.

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