Vice-President, Consulting Services,
Renewables & Smart Grids
As we share our first newsletter issue of the year, we thank you for the ongoing opportunity to collaborate together. Over the past months, while much has changed within your businesses, one thing remains certain: technology is core to how you create value for customers.
In 2021, we expect to see a keen focus on government and industry commitments to the energy transition. Of course, an essential pillar to accelerate this transition is renewable energy, particularly as it gains prominence with continued improvements in efficiency and profitability.
Recent studies indicate solar and wind energy are the cheapest new energy to produce. This cost efficiency differential will tend to increase with further innovation. For example, although wind turbines have an average installed capacity of 2 MW, a late-generation offshore wind turbine has a capacity above 10 MW and a higher efficiency rate, and this too will improve with further innovation.
The complexity of managing renewable energy processes has increased exponentially, moving from a centralized model to a distributed model with significant fluctuation in production. Is there sufficient wind to generate more production? What about the Sun?
Another fundamental element of the changing energy paradigm is the entry of micro-producers. As an example, 40,000 homes in Portugal are already connected and producing electricity to the grid. Batteries for domestic storage are following this growing trend, fueled by the sharp drop in the price of facilities, even at the residential level.
Network operators will have to manage this evolution to achieve both stability in production and the availability to respond to fluctuations at both ends of the spectrum: production and consumption. It is no longer enough to increase production, which was relatively simple in traditional power plants. This is because a moment of increased production in wind or solar power plants can happen in a period of decreased demand, and vice versa. As a result, the entry of production into the network must be managed. With some regularity, Portugal already has operated for periods entirely on renewables for its electrical production.
The answer to managing such challenges lies in technology. The technology must obtain real-time information from different production units (renewable and non-renewable), map the data to needs in real time, ensure proactive and preventive maintenance cycles, and manage network entry and exit to ensure stability. New technologies, such as Internet of Things and sensors for transmitting information on the use of assets, along with artificial intelligence and machine learning to anticipate scenarios and improve levels of effectiveness, are essential components of a solution to address the complexity of this challenge.
The solution must enable the management of the renewable asset portfolio, from solar to wind and water, with maximum efficiency and use of available assets. It also must be scalable to allow easy integration of new assets and optimization of their use. Finally, given the diversity of systems, it is essential that such a management system be capable of interconnecting and obtaining data from the most diverse systems, while ensuring a two-way connection that allows its management.
The future of energy is distributed, with low emissions, integration of new concepts such as storage, and significant production fluctuations. RMS Technology will make this future more predictable, manageable and integrated.
Generg has been building and operating renewable power plants for more than three decades. For the last five years, they have counted on CGI and RMS to support their operations, and plan to do so for years to come.
Generg manages around 800 MW of installed solar, wind and hydropower assets across Europe (in France, Italy, Portugal and Spain, as well as Poland, Romania and Bulgaria), with plans for continued expansion.
The success of its RMS implementation and continued support, combined with the platform’s ever-growing international portfolio, makes it the obvious choice to continue at the heart of Generg’s operations.
With its large amount of operational data available, Generg feels now is the right time to explore more- recent RMS features, including Internet of Things integration, real-time analytics, and artificial intelligence for predictive asset maintenance. They are looking forward to identifying and extracting even more benefits from the system.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) have become key accelerators for many industries today. While we have seen substantial advances in these technologies, their generalized use, especially in the wind industry, is still limited. While companies may be performing corrective and preventive maintenance, they can now use AI for predictive maintenance to solve future headaches and save money.
RMS uses advanced AI models to provide insights on the health of your assets that would be impossible to realize through time-consuming human analysis.
The RMS health monitor dashboard provides a single view of information about verified failures, measurement deviation trends, and failure prediction models. Health index, health status, shortest time to failure, and last predictive alarms are just a few of the intuitive indicators built for quantitative and qualitative analysis. These indicators give you the clearest view of asset reliability and a new approach to wind turbine health management.
Combined with the RMS condition monitor tool, the health monitor dashboard triggers conditions identified via AI model outputs and provides notifications through email, SMS and the RMS mobile app to help you address issues in a timely fashion.
One of CGI’s mission-critical IP solutions for the utilities industry, RMS is a complete suite for real-time monitoring, control and maintenance of different renewable power plant sources, including wind, solar and hydro power, as well as analytics for superior management of operational performance. Read more.
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