Axiom Cloud, a U.S. refrigeration software and automation specialist, has received approval from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), to roll-out its DoE-funded Refrigeration Energy Management project following a successful test period.

According to a recent statement, the project, which is a collaboration between Axiom, the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources (OER) and National Grid, will use artificial intelligence software to help grocery stores across Rhode Island and Massachusetts use energy more efficiently. Enhanced energy efficiency will then help grocers reduce their operating costs while also lessening the strain on the power grid during peak times.

Axiom Cloud announced in September 2021 that OER had received funding for the project through EERE’s Building Technologies Proving Ground awards, which aim to validate innovative technologies for commercial buildings and the public sector. 

Through National Grid’s ConnectSolutions program, participating stores will receive up to $300 for every kW (0.28TR) of flexible cooling load by reducing their energy consumption during periods of high grid demand. Enrolled stores will also receive alerts about predicted equipment outages and other energy efficiency opportunities from National Grid.

According to Axiom, refrigeration systems are typically a grocery store’s largest consumer of electricity, using up to 65% of its energy. These loads are often completely inflexible. Axiom states that improving the flexibility of the refrigeration loads at Rhode Island and Massachusetts’ 2,000-plus grocery stores represents a 40–100MW (11,300–28,400TR) opportunity to reduce peak demand.

According to the statement, Axiom Cloud’s apps, which use the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning, will “unlock this flexibility, while also helping to solve many problems that plague the refrigeration industry.”

“Software is transforming retail grocers’ relationships with their refrigeration systems,” said Amrit Robbins, CEO of Axiom Cloud. “[The Refrigeration Energy Management] program has enabled Axiom to support new customers in a new region, and we are excited to have found grocers, including a national chain with thousands of stores, that are ready to take action.”

Robbins added that through the project, Axiom is transforming grocery store refrigeration systems into “intelligent batteries so that they can supply gigawatts of flexibility to the grid and make money doing it.”

“Software is transforming retail grocers’ relationships with their refrigeration systems.”

Amrit Robbins, Axiom

According to Rhode Island’s State Energy Commissioner, Nicholas Ucci, “the Refrigeration Energy Management project will allow us to target the state’s grocery stores as a valuable source of flexible energy loads while providing crucial energy cost savings for these businesses.”

“As Rhode Island works to meet its net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050, the state must continue to lead the nation in developing cost-effective, clean energy solutions that reduce energy consumption, increase grid reliability, and shrink our carbon footprint,” added Ucci. “We are excited to see this project advance and look forward to working with our partners in making it a success.”

Axiom notes that funding is still available on a first-come, first-served basis to grocery stores in Rhode Island and Massachusetts that have National Grid electric service. Interested parties should email to learn more.

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