ThinkLabs AI, a new startup in Canada and the US, focused on developing technology to help enhance grid planning through a combination of intelligent automation and AI, is developing its flagship product, ThinkLabs Copilot, to help enable control room operators to more effectively operate complex modern grids in increasingly challenging contexts.

Josh Wong, ThinkLabs’ Founder and CEO discussed how AI and IT are transforming the grid. He outlined the challenges facing the electrical grid, including its aging infrastructure and the increasing complexity driven by renewable energy sources and electric vehicles.

He emphasized the need for AI-based intelligence to address the unpredictability and volatility of the grid. He highlighted the use of AI surrogate models to run scenarios and optimize power systems operations, ultimately enabling real-time, pre-trained intelligence for efficient problem-solving.

Josh explored the application of AI in grid optimization, discussing the challenges of integrating AI into grid operations and the critical role of human intuition and experience. He emphasized the potential for AI-driven state estimation to calculate critical grid variables and the use of AI as a virtual operator and digital assistant in the control room and planning team. Additionally, he stressed the need for collaboration and ecosystem approach in fostering innovation in the sector, and the responsibility of using AI to accelerate the transformation of the grid while understanding its carbon footprint.