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How to Achieve a Sustainability Breakthrough by Looking at Data Differently

Rich Argentieri, President, NextEra Analytics, Inc.

  • Conventional paradigms must be broken to achieve a sustainable future

  • A sustainable future depends on higher-resolution data

  • Avoiding IT pitfalls is key to effective data management

  • NextEra 360™ increases data resolution to change paradigms, improving financials and sustainability

Many corporations are tasked with achieving aggressive sustainability goals. However, despite an ever-growing amount of data, utilities frequently struggle to make meaningful gains toward those goals.

Traditional paradigms can create barriers to creative problem-solving, resulting in little to no progress on these goals. Viewing data differently can help companies shift limiting paradigms and achieve breakthroughs in their decarbonization efforts. 

NextEra Analytics develops forecasting and optimization software solutions to enable low-cost, sustainable power systems. The company’s NextEra 360™ software, a comprehensive energy management platform, was originally developed for NextEra Energy Resources to achieve breakthrough sustainability outcomes. Today, NextEra 360 can be implemented to increase operational efficiency, reduce cost, and accelerate energy goals. With NextEra 360, businesses no longer have to undertake large-scale, do-everything IT projects to gain a higher-resolution view of their data.

How to Achieve a Sustainability Breakthrough by Looking at Data Differently

In this webinar, Rich Argentieri, president of NextEra Analytics, shows attendees how to view data differently to make progress in their decarbonization efforts. He will reveal simple data levers that reduce energy costs and carbon emissions, manage risk, and improve overall returns so that companies can cast aside the overcomplicated thinking of the past.
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Rich Argentieri
President, NextEra Analytics, Inc.
Richard "Rich" Argentieri is president of NextEra Analytics, Inc., a leading energy research firm that develops forecasting and optimization software solutions that enable low-cost sustainable power systems. Mr. Argentieri and his team are responsible for NextEra 360™ comprehensive energy management software, originally developed for NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun—and a world leader in battery storage. Mr. Argentieri was appointed to his role in January 2011. Previously, Mr. Argentieri was senior director of integrated supply chain at Florida Power & Light Company, NextEra Energy Resources’ regulated utility affiliate, where he led strategic sourcing initiatives for an $8 billion supply chain.
Rich Argentieri will discuss the importance of high-resolution data in achieving sustainability goals and how NextEra 360 enables high-resolution data capture and analysis for utilities.

Key Takeaways

Conventional paradigms must be broken to achieve a sustainable future

From astronomy to neuroscience, particle physics to climate science, advancements in technology that provide increasingly higher resolutions have led to breakthroughs in understanding and application. The sustainability journey is no different. The sustainable future requires breakthroughs born of increased data resolution. 


NextEra Energy Inc., the parent company of NextEra Energy Resources, has set its own breakthrough goals to lead the energy transformation. 

In addition to high-resolution data comprising billions of data points measuring how NextEra Energy generation fleets operate, plus emissions data, financials, weather forecasts, and more, achieving these ambitious goals requires breaking paradigms: those decision-making matrices or filters that inform quick decisions in day-to-day operations. This is because, despite increased data resolution, current paradigms hide results by creating bias and cognitive dissonance.


Much like other breakthroughs, achieving zero carbon emissions will require casting aside conventional notions about whether sustainability or decarbonization goals are attainable. Shifting paradigms requires high-resolution data.

“Every major breakthrough—every big innovation—has always come through that change of paradigm. This is one of the most important pieces we need to focus on and take away in our organizations.”

- Rich Argentieri, President, NextEra Analytics, Inc.

A sustainable future depends on higher-resolution data

For decades, operations were relatively simple within the energy industry, with few sources of uncertainty. For conventional generation, the greatest uncertainty centered on equipment outages or unexpected weather-related load. 
Today, however, the problem has grown much bigger. Weather impacts not only load but also renewable resources. Distributed generation and distributed resource management compound the complexity of operations and add uncertainty.

Conventional advice

To solve for this complexity and also reach breakthrough goals, conventional advice might recommend breaking down the problem into smaller pieces and solving each in a one-by-one approach. However, this preemptively removes the step of problem formulation, where a different large-scale solution might be realized upon better understanding the problem. 

NextEra Energy Analytics approach

NextEra Energy Analytics recommends doing the opposite: enlarge the problem to make it more solvable. With a more expansive boundary around a tough problem, there are more insights and options — offering more opportunities to solve it. For example, to make a vehicle go faster, the answer is not necessarily to work only within the confines of what already exists and simply enlarge the engine. Instead, stepping back and viewing the larger vehicle, considering the application of materials science to lighten the weight of the body panels and/or the interior, control systems around how the engine is fired, or other options to improve speed facilitates solving the same problem in an easier, more effective way. 


Solving the complex challenges of utilities and developing the grid of the future requires the same approach — instead of tackling the problems of each component. A more holistic approach will yield a more impactful result.

Goals achieved

For NextEra Energy’s subsidiaries, this holistic approach has allowed the company to achieve ambitious goals, including:
  • Using computational fluid dynamics and atmospheric modeling to provide better, faster customer responses.
  • Recognizing voltage patterns across nearly five million smart meters to predict failures in near real-time.
  • Improving generation forecasts by incorporating real-time operational performance data.
  • Analyzing 30 billion rows of operating data to identify underperforming assets every morning.

Avoiding IT pitfalls is key to effective data management.

Optimizing for decarbonization goes hand in hand with cost savings. As investors begin taking sustainability metrics into account, improved sustainability becomes a financial imperative. These larger financial incentives are often coupled with disincentives, such as local carbon tax laws — all coming together to make a strong case for decarbonization.
New challenges
However, with so many different data sources that exist today that were not available in the past, utilities face a new set of challenges in their journey to sustainability. The velocity, volume, and variety of data are changing rapidly — and expanding exponentially. 
Data projects
As a result, data projects have a reputation for taking too long and being too expensive for companies to be able to meet sustainability goals. 
IT projects
This is especially true when utilities undertake IT projects by starting with the framework, rather than the problem. Implementing a data lake and infrastructure to help manage data, but without hard requirements driven by business outcomes, usually results in a system that can do everything yet accomplishes nothing. 
“All too often, [when] we talk to our customers . . . the price tag and the commitment for the technology is what scares them away from wanting to approach a project like this. But you don't need an enterprise data lake to make impacts today on your sustainability or carbon goals.”

- Rich Argentieri, President, NextEra Analytics, Inc.

NextEra 360 increases data resolution to change paradigms, improving financials, and sustainability.

NextEra Analytics develops forecasting and optimization solutions to enable low-cost, sustainable power systems. Derived from the company's expertise using data and artificial intelligence to create energy solutions, NextEra 360 is comprehensive energy management software, which increases operational efficiency, reduces costs, and accelerates decarbonization.
In addition to producing NextEra 360, the most comprehensive carbon emissions, energy management, and optimization software, NextEra Analytics uses its deep operational expertise to help utilities successfully implement high-resolution data projects in support of shifting paradigms to enable breakthroughs.

NextEra Energy Resources, the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun, and a world leader in battery storage, uses NextEra 360 in-house to manage and optimize more than $50 billion of its own renewable assets. 

Since 2020, NextEra 360 has reduced revenue/generation losses at NextEra Energy by nearly 30%.

In that same timeframe, NextEra 360 has also reduced operations and management costs by 16%.

“Our operating paradigm really changes our focus. The operating paradigm here at NextEra Analytics — we call it a 'Zero Distance P&L' — stays focused on very specific outcomes. By leveraging  technologies we were able to help improve a number of outcomes.”
- Rich Argentieri, NextEra Analytics, Inc.

Additional Resources

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