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Colonial Pipeline Uses Accenture AI to Lower Electric Utility Costs

AI Utilities
(Credit: Colonial Pipeline)

A database powered by artificial intelligence will help Colonial Pipeline reduce regulated and deregulated electric utility rates for its interstate pipeline system.

Colonial Pipeline will use Accenture’s utility tracking system to evaluate the energy costs of nearly 80 pump stations along its 5,500 mile-system. The energy management project will use a database of nearly 30 million utility bills that Accenture says it has been aggregating for more than 30 years, along with an automated system to improve the reliability of electricity rate savings recommendations.

The artificial intelligence system will produce information about tariff options that can provide lower-cost options such as reduced cost per kilowatt hour, and then Accenture will work with utilities to help implement new rates.

Colonial Pipeline connects refineries, primarily located along the Gulf Coast, with markets throughout the eastern and southern United States. The company delivers approximately 100 million gallons of refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, home heating oil, and fuel for the US military, through its pipeline.

Artificial Intelligence is a growing tool in energy transitions and could play a role in power, transport, industry, and building sectors, according to a report last year from the World Economic Forum. These types of automated systems are helping with efficiencies in renewable energy, water, and supply chains across industries.

Accenture recently released a survey that found a vast majority of companies haven’t integrated technology to help with sustainability goals. The company has also teamed up with Johnson Controls to advance the development of artificial intelligence, digital twins, the Internet of Things, and the cloud.

Pipelines are an important part of the country’s energy system. There are more than 190,000 miles of liquid petroleum pipelines in the country, and they are generally seen as safe and efficient. Petroleum remains one of the US’s primary energy sources, according to the Energy Information Administration.

“This initiative, which is part of our ongoing effort to optimize utility rates, has shown encouraging results early on and should continue to help us in our comprehensive review of all utility accounts on our system,” says Tony Leo, manager of energy management and power optimization for Colonial Pipeline.

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