Green City Energy AG, an alternative energy provider based in Munich, is determined to increase the efficiency and returns of the operation management in its system portfolio, which comprises about 40 MWp of installed PV power. To accomplish this goal, it asked meteocontrol GmbH to integrate all 25 solar parks into a single monitoring platform. In terms of hardware, a large share of the existing systems can be added to meteocontrol’s VCOM virtual control room without any additional work. Historical data can be imported without difficulties and used as a basis for evaluating long-term performance. With the help of the uniform monitoring solution, Green City Energy can effectively and cost-efficiently streamline its processes in operation management and asset management. Performance and returns will sustainably climb over the long term.
The migration is moving forward at full speed. Green City Energy, a subsidiary of the non-profit environmental organization Green City e.V., is now monitoring and managing most of its 25 existing systems in Germany and France on the “virtual control room” monitoring platform. Within just a few weeks, meteocontrol will migrate the entire PV system portfolio to the uniform platform. This platform is flexibly designed, a feature that enables the measurement data produced by monitoring components made by various manufacturers to be integrated and processed for analysis and visualization. As a result, Green City Energy has to make only minor modifications to the hardware used in just a few PV systems. It can carry out the transfer to the virtual control room at minimal cost.
The cost savings produced by cross-system monitoring of the entire portfolio are significant. “Thanks to meteocontrol’s uniform platform, we spend less time each day managing our system portfolio,” says Jens Mühlhaus, a member of Green City Energy’s board. “With the help of fast and simple error analysis, we can measurably boost our system performance.” The company also plans to manage future solar projects on the meteocontrol platform.
VCOM: all projects under one roof
Investors and operators who, like Green City Energy, manage a large portfolio of systems frequently have to use an array of portal environments and software solutions as the number of their systems grows. Efficiency in operation management and asset management suffers as a result and hurt the system’s long-range performance. By using imports, meteocontrol cost-efficiently integrates the systems into a single platform. When necessary, the Augsburg PV service provider can develop upgrading and retrofitting solutions to create a comprehensive solution in terms of monitoring, grid feed-in management and direct marketing interfaces.
“The virtual control room is the right solution for system portfolios,” says Martin Schneider, Managing Director of meteocontrol. “The reason for this is quite simple: Fast reaction times can be created only by bundling all projects on a high-performance platform. Managing the entire portfolio becomes a much easier and more effective proposition thanks to uniform reporting and controlling as well as time-saving analysis. In the end, we are talking about cold, hard cash that investors and operators are losing. Only optimal performance can assure long-term returns.”