W3 Energy Uses Greenbyte to Optimize 1.85 GW of Cold-Climate Wind Farms

W3 Energy leverages Power Factors' Greenbyte asset performance management software to optimize cold-climate wind farms.

W3 Energy Uses Greenbyte to Optimize 1.85 GW of Cold-Climate Wind Farms

by Power Factors

W3 Energy Uses Greenbyte to Optimize 1.85 GW of Cold-Climate Wind Farms

Swedish asset manager W3 Energy leverages Power Factors’ Greenbyte asset performance management platform to boost production and drive down costs across their portfolio.

“We have, during the last four years, taken on the two biggest construction projects in Europe — and succeeded,” says Pär Dunder, chief executive officer of independent Swedish asset manager W3 Energy.

He’s talking about the firm’s growing portfolio, which includes two of the largest onshore wind projects in the world: CGN’s 650MW Markbygden ETT and Luxcara’s 750 MW Markbygden Önusberget. Both are in Sweden, and both are central to the 1.85GW portfolio of assets managed by W3 that are either in construction or operation.

W3 Energy has a 13-year track record of optimizing wind projects in cold climates — which present unique challenges to wind farm operations. Historically, it has done this using proprietary digital tools such as de-icing systems.

Markbygden wind farm (image courtesy of Erika Tiefensee and W3)

But, in 2019, Swedish onshore wind was growing fast. The International Renewable Energy Agency shows that wind capacity in Sweden grew from 6.4GW in 2016 to 9.7GW in 2020, an increase of over 50%.

Due to this growth, W3 faced a dilemma: they couldn’t scale their in-house digital systems fast enough to keep up with customer demand. W3 needed a performance optimization solution from a company they could trust.

In the end, W3 Energy choose Greenbyte, a Power Factors product, to help support its growth. With Greenbyte, W3 can offer international investors an opportunity to mitigate the risk of annual cold climate production losses of up to 12%.

In this video, the W3 team shares more about how they use Power Factors’ Greenbyte platform to optimize their growing portfolio of cold-climate wind farms.

Maintaining Growth

W3 Energy is an independent technical and commercial operations manager responsible for operating, maintaining, and optimizing wind farms.

It manages around 18% of the renewable energy produced in Sweden — equivalent to the annual consumption of around one million Swedish households. The company offers the full scope of active technical and financial asset management services.

W3 started out managing only its own projects. A move into providing asset management services for other companies — including those with turbines unfamiliar to the W3 team — required a software solution that could keep up. W3 had to decide if they wanted to increase the developer capacity themselves or buy another software solution, says Andreas Johansson, software developer at W3 Energy.

W3 team at the Markbygden wind farm (image courtesy of Erika Tiefensee and W3)

The company opted to buy Power Factors’ Greenbyte asset management platform so it could successfully shift to managing other companies’ assets alongside their own. The Greenbyte platform collects data across the portfolios W3 manages, providing them with the information needed to drive performance improvements and make cost savings for their own assets as well as their customers’.

One of the big benefits of Greenbyte was that it could integrate with the proprietary cold climate asset management software developed by W3, said CEO Pär Dunder. “In the early years we built an in-house model to house our data and manage our projects. We also developed the ice detection tools and manual systems that have proved essential to the full optimization of projects in cold climates. But, as we grew, it became clear that we needed a proven and adaptable solution with deep customer service and access to all the latest thinking and solutions on the market,” he said.

W3 gained a wide range of benefits when they adopted Greenbyte, including more standardized processes; the ability to centralize and analyze data from all the wind turbines under their management; and insight into future production. “Any kind of forecasting will make our position stronger in the future. Active asset management is not about knowing what happened yesterday. It’s about anticipating what’s happening tomorrow,” said Dunder.

Power Factors’ Customer Success Team Lead Erika Tiefensee at the Markbygden wind farm (image courtesy of Erika Tiefensee and W3)

W3 also uses Greenbyte API for custom reporting to help customers to visualize production losses and help energy traders get the data they need.

In addition, Greenbyte helps W3 to see what needs to be fixed and gives them the critical information needed to direct its technicians. Ulf Lundmark, operations manager at W3, said his major challenge is to coordinate everyone so they know what they are doing. “We use the Greenbyte platform for documentation and to keep track of everything that happens so we can upload that in the system, so it’s easier for the customer and easier for us to go back and see what has happened at a certain time,” he said.

This has helped W3 with its work on Markbygden ETT and Önusberget, as well as smaller projects including Fu-Gen’s largest operational cold climate wind farm, the 42MW Fjällboheden project. W3 also manages the facilities of company MB Net, which is responsible for the electricity supply to the Swedish national grid.

Emerging Opportunities

Dunder said Greenbyte would help W3 Energy with its future evolution too.

“We aim to sustain and increase our market share while transferring specialist knowledge to new markets as they open up,” he said. Dunder added that there were also exciting opportunities opening to repower earlier cold climate projects.

Dunder said the company was able to take advantage of these opportunities thanks to the combination of W3’s asset management expertise with Greenbyte’s digital tools and trustworthy insights: “I think that when you hire a carpenter it’s not only about his or her skills. It’s also about using the best tools. We feel like really good carpenters in this business — and we also have the best tools.”

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