For Duke Energy, one of the largest US energy-holding companies, reducing methane emissions is part of its commitment to future generations. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with 80 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period (US Environmental Protection Agency, EPA).
Duke Energy set ambitious net-zero methane goals for its gas distribution business for 2030. To achieve them, it would need to go above and beyond current US EPA regulations.
It explored innovative new approaches to detect, monitor and remediate emissions, such as using satellites. However, it needed help to develop a rigorous, end-to-end approach to monitor emissions and lay the foundation for predictive maintenance.
Duke Energy tapped into Accenture and Avanade’s deep technology capabilities to define an innovative end-to-end solution that significantly improves leak surveys, emission calculations and leak remediation.
When tech meets human ingenuity
Duke Energy brought in Accenture, Avanade—a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft—and Microsoft to co-innovate a pioneering solution that would help meet its ambitions and potentially advance industry and regulatory standards.
The result is a first-of-its- kind, end-to-end Azure-based cloud platform that monitors baseline methane emissions from natural gas distribution assets (e.g., pipelines, gas meters) using satellite monitoring, analytics and artificial intelligence.
The solution quantifies and prioritizes findings in graphic dashboards, making data easily consumable at multiple levels of the organization. A pilot for fugitive emission detection will enable Accenture to refine and scale the technology to other Duke Energy jurisdictions.
This first-of-its kind, end-to-end Azure-based platform monitors baseline methane emissions from natural gas distribution assets, such as pipelines and gas meters, using satellite monitoring, analytics and artificial intelligence.
A valuable difference
Near real-time leak remediation will help Duke Energy to reduce methane emissions while making operational systems more resilient.
The platform is already delivering results with more accurate, holistic insights for leadership decision-making.
With pinpoint-accurate geolocation data, workers are finding leaks in minutes compared to physical inspection of pipelines and other assets—and repairing them more quickly. The solution also has the potential to identify system vulnerabilities and prevent future leaks.
Once scaled across all asset types, emission categories and jurisdictions, the platform will help Duke Energy’s natural gas business reduce methane emissions and achieve its net-zero methane goals for 2030. Importantly, this solution has the potential to accelerate the journey to net zero for the industry.