Data Value Hub Activ8

Activ8 – a growing Irish energy company looking to understand how AI can impact across its business operations.

Meet Activ8 Solar Energies

Ireland’s solar experts.

Founded by entrepreneur Ciaran Marron in 2007, Activ8 Solar Energy has grown to over 170 staff and has completed over 17,500 solar panel installations and is part of the SSE Airtricity group serving over 750,000 customers across the island.

Industry: Green Energy

Location: Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan

Company Size: 170+

Key Project Deliverables:

  • Understand how the latest AI technologies and methods can impact Activ8’s business operations and service delivery
  • Signpost the value of existing data for AI applications
  • Highlight viable project areas for AI applications

We participated in the Incubator to understand what’s actually possible with AI. It’s really signposted where there’s value in our data. The lights went on for us in so many areas where we can apply this.

Gary Connolly, Commercial Director

The Challenge

  • Activ8 wished to understand what were the capabilities of AI and where these might be applied in its business for bottom line success.
  • This required:
    • Education on the latest AI methods, tools and use cases.
    • Consideration of the existing (or possible) data sets and assessment of their suitability for AI projects.
    • Spotlighting potential projects where AI technologies could be piloted and measured

And that’s where we came in.

“The AI Incubator was great. What surprised me was when I went back to the business, I found I was able to see other areas beyond the original problem we brought where AI could be applied.”

Jim Mc Eneaney, Brand & Innovation Manager, Activ8 Solar Energies

The Work

The AI Incubator programme gave Activ8 Managers a grounding in the basics of AI and the latest tools and use cases to understand why and where AI would be impactful in a business.

The team then focussed on areas where data was readily available and assessed the usability of each data source for AI projects.

Special focus was put on applications around solar energy consumption and generation.

The team investigated the feasibility of an application which empowered consumers to meet a larger proportion of their consumption with the solar energy they generated. This was based on AI predictions from combining consumption data and external data (such as weather forecasts).

This work signposted that a Virtual Power Plant was a real possibility, where solar generated energy in excess of consumption demand could be resold back to the grid with benefits to the end consumer, the business and wider environmental benefits. To investigate the feasibility of this, the team typified generative capacities into profiles and used a blockchained dB instance to record generation and facilitate carbon offsetting. The team also did prototyping of the technical integrations (API’s) to prove the project was technically possible.


  • The work has signposted real areas where AI technologies could be piloted and measured: 
    • Predictive energy consumption models based on energy data. 
    • Consumer behaviour altering applications which would increase the amount of self generated solar energy consumed and could lead to increased acquisition and retention. 
    • A Virtual Power Plant. 
    • Installation quality control via automatic photo assessment. 
    • Predictive maintenance of devices in the field based on operational data collection. 
  • Prototypes have demonstrated technical feasibility and predictive models. 

The Benefits – ROI/Impact

Participation in the AI Incubator helped the management team understand the potential areas of the business that AI could be applied for improved revenue and consumption of green energy. 

The programme has upskilled key Managerial Staff in Activ8 Solar Energies

It has signposted potential follow-on projects with possible bottom line impact

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