Welcome to the #AssetManagementBites.
Every Monday we will be sharing with you one of the numerous recommendations, best practices and advises (“bites”) from the “Solar Asset Management Best Practice Guidelines Version 1.0”.
The document was developed by SolarPower Europe with the contribution of Alectris. The “Solar Asset Management Best Practice Guidelines Version 1.0” is a resourceful guide addressing the commercial and financial management of solar investments, balancing the risks, opportunities, costs, and performance benefits. The document aims to encourage asset managers to keep their services consistent and at the highest level.
Chapter 9: DATA MANAGEMENT AND HIGH-LEVEL MONITORING
Asset Managers have the responsibility of monitoring and overseeing the activities performed by the O&M service providers as well as managing the ongoing obligations of the plant to ensure its longevity and profitability.
All different positions borne by the Asset Manager can benefit from new digital instruments, which allow for more efficient data management and ensure the best, most cost-effective power plant operation. These instruments include plant performance data management, O&M site activity supervision, contract management, administrative follow-up and optimisation. Ideally, an Asset Manager should make use of an Asset Management Platform that can undertake all of the digital aspects or can link to external specific digital tools to consolidate all relevant information.
There is a tendency in the industry to opt for solutions that integrate the functionalities of Monitoring Systems, Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) and Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERP) in one software. Such integrated solutions allow Asset Managers (and O&M Contractors) to have analysed all parameters including plant technical data, maintenance activities related information and contractual data in one central platform. Such integrated solutions can be considered a recommendation.
Advanced data analysis comes in many forms, with the most sophisticated using special algorithms including machine learning for exploring big data. Service providers with PV experience and deep PV knowledge can combine this with digital analytics to transform data into intelligence. Hidden problematic areas of a PV asset can be identified and concrete actions for performance maximization provided. In addition, strategies for reducing operational & maintenance costs, based on comprehensive plant data, can be devised. Another aspect which is increasingly being offered to make operations more efficient is the automation of monitoring, also possible in combination with and as a side benefit of advanced data analysis.
The latter also simplifies the overall reporting documentation side for Asset Managers. Many suppliers offer platforms or web-based dashboards to simplify integration and allow for autonomous results. The remote nature of the service also means that it can be integrated into Monitoring & Asset Management Systems and no hardware or software installations are necessary. Additionally, the Asset Managers must have access to all data that the O&M service providers have at their disposal and the technical and operational data generated from the O&M service providers’ activities.
Asset Managers are further responsible for capturing all data related to their various activities, such as financial data, commercial data, compliance data, contractual & regulatory data as well third-party data, necessary for the Asset Owners. Asset Managers are required to provide regular status reports to Asset Owners and require access to data provided by the O&M service provider relating to the monitoring of the plant, O&M service repair activities, and all data related to necessary compliance processes. More specifically, Asset Managers should comply with the following guidelines regarding data and data management to ensure the most efficient operation of their power plants. To be able to achieve this, the Asset Managers should use an Asset Management Platform.