AssetManagementBites #20 from Solar Asset Management Best Practice Guidelines

Jun 1, 2020

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.

Bite #20

Chapter 9: DATA MANAGEMENT AND HIGH-LEVEL MONITORING

 

9.7. Data portability, backup and disaster recovery

The data from the Asset Management Platform, or component systems, should always be legally owned by, and be accessible to, the Asset Owner (SPV). Stakeholders such as the O&M Contractor, the Asset Manager or auditors, during due diligence phases, that need the data to perform their duties should be able to be granted access.

 

Depending on whether you rely on an in-house built platform or rely on external vendors, these specific considerations should be key requirements that are passed on and included as part of the scope of the Asset Management Platform.

 

Consideration should be given to how the data contained within the Monitoring Systems, Asset Management Platform, and that is generally collected by the Asset Manager, is protected to ensure the long-term availability in the case of change of provider either through:

  • Managed change of Asset Manager, O&M provider or Monitoring System/Asset Management Platform
  • Unexpected change of Asset Manager, O&M provider or Platform (e.g. insolvency)
  • Transfer of ownership of the SPV.

 

Key to the above is a full understanding of the data being collected at all levels and having agreements in place to make it accessible and ensure it is continuously backed up. An important consideration in these matters is to understand what underlying system is the “system of record” for any given type of information as it will inform the backup strategy required for each initial “source” of data. It is recommended that the Asset Management Platform should keep a copy and log of all data saved if other systems feeding information into the Platform encounter problems.

 

The Asset Manager should endeavour to make sure that all data contained within the Asset Management Platform is correct and up to date, to the extent possible. The Asset Manager’s ability to properly maintain the Platform should be evaluated regularly. It is expected that the Asset Manager’s staff and any other users of the Platform should be appropriately trained in how to use it.

 

As a best practice, software vendors should be able to offer a variety of failsafe and backup options to Asset Managers. They should have as per the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA):

  • Developed a comprehensive backup plan – How and at what frequency are backups done and what are the possibilities for rollback and data recovery?
  • Perform effective backup management – Are they hosting their own servers or relying on c loud service providers?
  • Perform periodic databases restore testing – Have they performed restores of their backups?
  • Have backup and recovery Service Level Agreements (SLAs) drafted and communicated to all stakeholders – What are the severity levels, what are the guarantees, what are their remedies? What business interruption clauses exist?
  • Have the disaster recovery plan (DRP) database portion drafted and documented. Has this all been documented by the vendor?

 

Asset Managers, as customers of these software companies, can further increase their security by asking for:

  • Specific SLAs that refer to their own backup strategy
  • Dedicated instances of the application
  • Code Escrow agreements to secure against bankruptcy.

 

Ultimately, data portability, security and recovery are everyone’s prerogatives and should be discussed with all technology providers.

 

They should also test the ease of data export/API connectors of their software vendors for more commercial reasons.

 

data portability

 

 

Previous #AssetManagementBites

Data portability, backup and disaster recovery asset management bites

About ACTIS ERP

ACTIS ERP is an innovative Renewables’ Enterprise Resource Planning Platform dedicated to empowering end-owners and stakeholders of renewables’ assets, Asset managers and O&M service providers with full control of their portfolios through the award winning, one-stop solution providing comprehensive and integrated Real-time Monitoring, Service Management, Asset Management, PPA Billing, Project Management and many more tools. ACTIS helps you achieve the maximum performance of your assets by streamlining operations and consolidating Technical, Operational and Financial Reporting, increasing efficiency and reducing your costs.

ACTIS meets the requirements of the Asset Management Platform described in the Solar Asset Management Best Practice Guidelines Version 1.0″. Moreover, ACTIS was certified with the Solar Best Practices Mark developed by SolarPower Europe.

To learn more about our oftware request ACTIS demo!