More than an area, innovation is a work philosophy that has impregnated the whole Organization through the pillars of culture, which we have adopted in our daily work with the aim to be increasingly more competitive, attract high-quality human talent and have a positive impact on our stakeholders.
The electricity sector is rapidly transforming itself to a cleaner, more decentralized and more digital future. At Celsia, we are aware of the need for this transformation and so we are committed to lead it.
Although the asset management business is the Company’s main source of income, we decisively invested in innovation as the main vehicle for diversification, aiming to create new business models, offer alternative energy solutions for our clients, and improve the efficiency of our current operations.
Our efforts aim to provide the Company with alternatives for growth to manage the risks and maintain its competitiveness, through the development of business models based on cutting-edge technology.
According to our strategic planning by horizons (see figure), the diversification of the business corresponds to horizons H2 and H4. Our innovation team leads the incubation of technology or business models (in H3 or H4).
Once technology reaches the commercial pilot stage with clients, the key areas are gradually incorporated as product development to refine and scale up the product (H2), aiming to then consolidate it as a business in sales exploitation (H1).
This is the case of CelsiaLab, which aims to serve as a laboratory for testing the different micro-network technology in order to structure new business models and operating efficiency models. Distributed solar power, efficient lighting and automation are examples of products that will supply this development process.
- Energy Storage: At CelsiaLab, we develop tests on different small-scale battery storage systems. We carry out this work as part of the I+D activities of the project granted to us by Colciencias in the 2017 Tax Benefits call for proposals. The tests we conducted have enabled us to increase our knowledge about technology and identify business opportunities in different commercial segments.
- Automation: The scope of the Building Management System (BMS) product, which initially consisted solely of a management platform of a building’s electricity services, has been scaled up to all the technology solutions that enable us to operate a building’s different services remotely, efficiently and safely, including security, air conditioning and access control. This product will enable us to provide comprehensive solutions, incorporating all the products of the new businesses portfolio. In 2018, we installed the BMS in NOVA, and it is currently being implemented at Epsa’s facilities in Yumbo.
- Electric Mobility: Confirming our commitment to the transformation of the automotive fleet, in 2018, we started working with Sura for the development of electric mobility projects, which will become a reality in 2019. We also installed three additional charging stations for electric vehicles in Medellín, the first four in Cali and one in Cartagena, ending the year with a total of 17 operating stations. In terms of massive electric mobility, we structured a project to transform the MIO fleet in Cali with 26 electric buses, in partnership with a renowned operator of this city.
- Data Science: We started fostering the use of our different databases to turn them into actionable information with tangible benefits for the Company. We defined a system with three areas to guide our efforts on analytics: operating efficiency, client experience and new products or services.
Other initiatives that advance
- Retail Energy: Trading Platform From the technology oversight carried out in 2017 and the training of in-house staff on blockchain technology, we designed a controlled pilot of peer-to-peer energy trading. Using Celsia’s equipment, we aimed to create a retail trading market between local energy generators and consumers, without the intermediation of a central entity. Said pilot program will produce its first results in 2019, from which we will define the steps to take with this initiative.
- Micro-Network Celsia: Lab is the first step toward the goal of facilitating the development of integrated energy solutions or micro-networks. This project promotes the integration of the different services we offer in the sales portfolio to deliver greater added value to the client. With the aim to scale up the initiative, we are studying the feasibility of implementing a pilot micro-network in our Yumbo facilities.
- Smart Lighting: We designed architecture to implement the Company’s internet of things projects. We started with smart lighting in public and private areas with an intelligent management pilot project of nine lights and other connected devices using Huawei technology.
- Smart Demand Management: We developed the technology and operating capacity required to offer two new products in specific market segments: Efficient Consumption and Remunerated Disconnection.
Investment in Innovation
All this dream is built with the commitment to innovation as a growth engine and guarantee of permanence over time. Here are some figures.
To learn more about our Innovation management, click here