The Earlier the Better: Asset Performance Management Platforms Crucial to Success for New RE Plants
Bode Agagu, Account Executive at Power Factors, reflects on the excitement at the RE+ conference in Anaheim, CA, this past September, and notes the crucial role of integrated APM platforms in driving the continued success of renewables.
The excitement was palpable at the recent RE+ conference in Anaheim, CA.
Despite the pandemic, the North American renewables industry saw strong growth over the past few years. And the recent passage of the US Inflation Reduction Act only served to further galvanize us.
Strong political support and investor interest provides those of us in the renewables industry with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — and everyone at RE+ seemed to feel the urgency of this moment.
But how can we turn that excitement into concrete action to help drive the success of renewables? After talking with many people over the course of that week in September, one of my biggest takeaways was this: It’s crucial to start considering asset performance management (APM) platforms in the planning and development stages of a project.
Digitalization from Day One
To deliver the low-carbon power system the world needs, we need to build more renewable energy power plants and we need to take advantage of the latest in asset performance management (APM) software earlier in the asset lifecycle.
In the past, APM platforms have been added after a plant is operational — a way for owners and operators to use current and past performance data to better manage the performance of existing assets.
But industry changes make it crucial to take APM platforms into consideration starting in the planning and development stages. Baking advanced digital tools into new projects gives owners, asset managers, and operators the information they need to start optimizing technical and financial performance from day one.
Key Industry Changes to Consider
Below are two key changes that make an advanced asset performance management platform crucial to the success of new plants — especially hybrid plants:
- The development market is less about pure-play solar or wind. It’s now common for utility-scale wind and solar plants to include energy storage systems, allowing them to address power price cannibalization and support grid stability. Digital asset performance management systems offer crucial tools and information to operators and asset managers dealing with multiple asset types (and storage assets especially).
- Power markets are changing. Higher penetration of renewables on power grids opens up new opportunities for owners to sell grid balancing and other services to grid operators in response to short-term market changes. But this requires the use of fully integrated APMs that bring together performance data with real-time market data — plus control systems that help them dispatch power when it’s needed.
These changes are driving the evolution of everyone in the industry — and that includes Power Factors (it’s why we joined forces with Inaccess, 3megawatt, and Greenbyte). We believe an integrated APM platform — one that’s designed from the ground up to help with every aspect of the asset lifecycle — is something renewable energy stakeholders will need to succeed in this rapidly evolving market.