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Platform for 3D planning of future energy and linear network connected with augmeted reality for improved public participation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - 3DEPLAN (Platform for 3D planning of future energy and linear network connected with augmeted reality for improved public participation)

Reporting period: 2019-08-01 to 2019-11-30

Gilytics addresses the complexity of the routing and extension of the power grid system to support the integration of renewable energy: routing new power lines takes in extreme cases up to 25 years and such issue is a critical bottleneck for dispatching electricity from renewables from the producers to consumers. The main reasons for such slow planning process are slow, manual and inefficient planning methods to identify routes and lack of transparency in the communication process, which raises protests and opposition of authorities and citizens, who bring new projects in front of a court. Major public concerns consist in the impact of electromagnetic field, the visual impact of pylons, the respect of protected areas and the understanding of the planning and routing process.
This problem puts a lot of pressure on power grid operators which are pushed by energy producers to increase the grid capacity with more power lines for renewables and on the other side from authorities and citizens expecting more transparency and involvement in the planning process.
Bottom line is that the request and need of more renewables is high, clear and perceived as important, but the critical role of a more efficient power grid is still perceived as vague and unclear because of its complex process, unperceived direct benefits and lack of transparency, which brings citizens to have a very conservative reaction.
Scope of the work is to identify what benefits the solution proposed by Gilytics bring to power grid operators and engineering companies for planning and routing new power lines, to quickly identify paths and alternatives to propose to authorities and communities affected by projects. In addition, we wanted to estimate the market potential and additional market opportunities and the corresponding willingness of companies to pay. Moreover, we investigated which commercial tools are currently used and how efficient they are in solving such issues in comparison to Gilytics’s solution.
The objective of the Feasibility Study (split into four tasks) is to ensure the technical, commercial and financial viability of the project. The results is a business plan used as a basis for Phase II and III.

Task 1: Technical Feasibility (Resp: Grassi)
Work performed: we analysed and identified technical activities necessary to further develop the existing platform (named Pathfinder) to make it a market-ready product. We developed a time frame including a budget for planned milestones, resources and technical development to reach a scalable platform.
Main Results:
A work plan consisting of milestones, including work packages for Phase II with detailed budget and resource allocations, a schedule, a technical risk assessment and mitigation plan.

Task 2: Market & Commercial Feasibility, Risk Assessment (Resp: Bieri)
Work performed:
In the market study, we analysed Pathfinder’s expected impact on the European and Global market of Power Grid Operators. In the commercial study we defined strengths and weaknesses, pricing structure, offering model, possible sales volumes including a marketing and communication strategy. The Overall Risk Assessment resulted in a detailed and holistic analysis of major operational risks and a mitigation plan with a plan on how to minimize these risks.
Main Results:
In the market study we quantified and described market volumes, digital trends in the sector, competitors pricing and service offering models as well as market entry barriers. In the commercial study we created a SWOT analysis also considering competitors in the market. We created a commercial roadmap with marketing measurements and a sales plan which includes pricing structure and offering model which we validated with potential customers. The Overall Risk Assessment is a holistic analysis of major operational risks related to topics like finance, personnel, intellectual property, production and others and a mitigation plan which qualifies these risks and focuses on the mitigation of the main risks.

Task 3: Financial Feasibility (Resp: Bieri)
Work performed:
We conducted a detailed financial feasibility study. We collected all relevant information gathered during the project and we worked closely with other experienced entrepreneurs and experts in the field of financial planning and financial risk mitigation.
Main Results:
In the financial planning spreadsheet we updated our sales numbers including quantities, pricing and revenues and have also a sales costs breakdown for the next 5 years including an analysis on the return on investments (ROI). We also included detailed operational costs (payroll and admin costs) to calculate break even and long-term financial viability.
Furthermore, we have conducted a risk assessment indicating contingency measures in case our figures do not match our forecast. To mitigate such risks, monitoring of costs and triggering moments (cost and revenue side) were implemented.
We have created a liquidity planning schedule, which includes an investor strategy and schedule, updated once a month in order to predict in advance potential financial problems. We had first discussions with potential investors with positive feedback including a letter of intent.

Task 4: Business Plan – (resp: Bieri & Grassi)
Work performed: with the information collected in the Feasibility Study, we created a comprehensive business plan.
Main Results: the business plan covers technical, commercial and financial aspects. The results in the business plan are a roadmap for the activities for Phase II and Phase III.
In the Feasibility Study we made improvements in technical, organisational and commercial domain. In the technical domain we collected feedback from existing and potential users to improve our platform, to make it more user friendly and efficient also for non-experts. In the organisational domain, we hired skilled IT developers, built a commercial team to better serve customers and to cover competences in finance and accounting. In the commercial domain, we connected to many new potential clients, established very good relations with decision makers and potential users and gained two new customers.

The received feedback shows that our product is a novelty in the market and very valuable for multi-departmental activities transforming the traditional planning phase into a large fast data-driven decisions making process. Potential users found that Pathfinder can be very useful also for additional activities within power grid operators helping to reduce the time to exchange and transfer data and information through departments, in particular the long-term planning department, engineering and communication with communities and authorities. In particular, they expect the platform to be able to easily explain to citizens the reasons behind the selection of paths and routes through specific regions rather than others.
Through Pathfinder large scale energy infrastructures can be shown and explained in a transparent, realistic and interactive way to citizens, NGOs, authorities etc and to let stakeholders to actively participate in the planning process.
From the broader perspective, the platform itself is seen as an integrated system to connect and share multiple data sources, simulations, results, devices for different purposes in order to ease, improve and speed up internal processes and to enhance the external communication with external stakeholders.
distribution of land elements crossed by paths of a given scenario
3D visualization of pylons and path
paths and some spatial elements (see list on the left)
heatmap of distribution of position and density of buildings along path
comparison of corridors and paths of power line projects (dummy project for demo purpose only)
distribution of weight of layers of spatial objects impacting the routing of power lines