Awarded Millions in Government Funding for Green Energy Project

In September, the Research Council of Norway announced that HVL will receive more than three million kroners as a partner in Statnett’s innovation project Powerline rights-of-way decision support for sustainable corridors – a remote sensing approach (PROWD).

The funding comes as part of the Norwegian Government and Research Council’s focus area Innovation Project for the Industrial Sector (IPN), where they will invest approximately 400 million NOK in company-driven projects that incorporate extensive R&D activities.

PROWD is one of eight energy projects that was approved in this round. Professor Reza Arghandeh with the Department of Computer science, Electrical engineering and Mathematical sciences (IDER) is head of HVL’s participation.

“The PROWD project is a great opportunity for us to work side-by-side with Statnett and other electric companies and learn their actual technological needs in the field. Our goal is to develop artificial intelligence algorithms that help Statnett and any other electricity delivery companies to monitor electricity lines from space. The majority of power lines in Norway cross the forests, and we want to make sure we protect our environment while we keep our lights on,” Arghandeh proclaims.

A desire to create new green workplaces

This year the Research Council has instigated faster processing of applications, so that the projects can be realized sooner. The purpose is to promote sustainable growth and enhance competitiveness for Norwegian companies.

“Research and development are crucial for Norwegian businesses and industry to recover after the coronavirus pandemic and adjust toward a more sustainable direction. We will create new workplaces, especially in those business areas where we already have extensive competency. In particular, this applies to an energy sector that’s very strong on technology,” said Tina Bru, the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, in conjunction with last week’s awards.

Will probably generate more funding for HVL

The cost framework for PROWD is 28 million kroners. In addition, Agder Energi and Tensio are contributing financially. Apart from HVL, the other collaborators include the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA), the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE), Stormgeo AS and Independent Insulation Group (i2g).

A prerequisite for IPN-funding scheme is that the responsible companies contribute their share of the costs, which means that HVL and Reza Arghandeh’s research probably will receive additional financing.

Develop services for a broader market

On Statnett’s website R&D Manager Ingeborg Buchalik conveys that they are dependent upon government contribution to go through with the PROWD project to such an extent.

“The support from the Research Council is crucial to ensure broad participation from several disciplines and businesses, that will have an impact on the solutions and their ability to solve problems for both Statnett and power lines on lower voltage. Furthermore, we can provide services to a broader market,” explains Buchalik.