São Paulo-based EDP Energias do Brasil, controlled by EDP Energias de Portugal, is saving 6mn reais (US$1.5mn) annually with robotization, the company’s executive manager for innovation, Lívia Brando, told BNamericas.
EDP Brasil operates 150 robots, which do 70,000 human work hours. Brando said the company does not want to replace workers through robotization but better allocate it‘s human resources.
“Those robots execute repetitive activities that have low-value addition if done by a human. EDP created a center to train the people that operate these robots and automatize processes. The goal was not to reduce the number of employees, but to put people to activities in which they can add more value,” she said.
EDP Brasil has been investing heavily in digitalization and new technologies, with focus on smart grids, clean energy, storage, customer solutions, digital innovation, socio-environmental impacts, and solutions for the support business, such as human resources, and the legal and payments sectors. The company has already invested 70mn reais in innovation and plans to raise that figure to 2.9bn reais by year-end. It’s main foci will be smart grids, artificial intelligence, and solar power generation.
“We look at those solutions not only for our core business but also for other activities,” Brando added.
Next year, the company wants to release a blockchain-backed app to negotiate distributed solar power. The app, in development since May, is created in partnership with Accenture consultancy in the companies’ Smart Energy Lab in Recife, Pernambuco state. It is the result of joint work on new technologies for the power market.
“We will develop a platform based on the blockchain technology to sell solar power generation quotas from power plants remotely connected to houses,” Brando said.
Apart from buying energy, the app will also enable consumers see how many emissions they saved by using solar power.
“All of that in real-time with data traceability and transparency,” according to Brando.
Blockchain technology is already in use in Brazil’s power sector. A platform called LexTokens facilitates investment in crypto assets backed by solar power plants and was launched by local financial group Alexandria earlier this year.