Origis Energy forms new third-party O&M, asset management subsidiary for solar, storage portfolios

origis energy

Origis Energy USA has formed a new wholly owned subsidiary to provide the U.S. solar and energy storage markets with operations, maintenance and asset management services. The new company, Origis Services LLC, will serve Origis’ pipeline and growth as well as provide third party services. Senior solar industry professional, Michael Eyman, will lead the new firm as Managing Director.

Origis Services currently manages a solar portfolio of over 500 megawatts (MWs) with integrated operations and maintenance (O&M) and asset management services. Expansion underway includes an advanced Remote Operations Control Center located in Austin, TX.

Michael Eyman joined Origis Energy in 2018 to organize the internal O&M and asset management team into the new operating unit serving owners of large-scale and distributed generation solar facilities, portfolios, energy storage, and other renewable generating assets. He brings over 20 years of leadership and operations experience and served in previous positions with MaxGen Energy Services and SunPower. Eyman is a retired Commander for the U.S. Navy Reserve, with a proven track record of safety, execution, and the creation of innovative strategies and processes to advance operational excellence.

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“We have over a decade of experience ensuring the performance of utility and distributed generation solar plants,” said Guy Vanderhaegen, Chief Executive Officer & President, Origis Energy. “The formation of Origis Services is a natural extension of our track record. We will leverage our inherent economies of scale and expertise to the broader solar and energy storage markets.”

Today’s high performing solar and storage assets depend on high quality, integrated O&M and asset management services. To realize strong Return on Investment (ROI) over 30+ years of asset operation, Origis Services provides 24/7 continuous monitoring services utilizing cloud-based solar enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, a seasoned team for responsive incident resolution and extensive reporting capabilities focused on owner’s requirements.

“Origis is now one of the leading solar and storage developers in the country,” said Michael Eyman, Managing Director, Origis Services. “The same dedication to excellence pervasive in the origination and construction group is how Origis is approaching plant management. Now we will deliver the same focus and proven suite of O&M and asset management services Origis has fine-tuned internally to the broader market.”

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar construction contractors can improve asset efficiency with predictive maintenance

solar contractor success

Solar equipment manufacturers, EPCs and power plant owners and operators commonly face the challenge of keeping their fleet, machinery and other assets working efficiently, while also reducing the cost of maintenance and time-sensitive repairs. Considering the aggressive timelines set for solar-focused organizations, it is crucial to identify the cause of potential faults or failures before they have an opportunity to occur.

By proactively identifying potential issues via artificial intelligence, solar companies can turn equipment sensor data into actionable insights in order to more effectively deploy maintenance services and improve equipment uptime.

Predictive maintenance approach

The underlying architecture of a predictive maintenance model is fairly uniform irrespective of its end applications. The analytics usually reside on a host of IT platforms, but these layers are systematically described as:

  • Data acquisition and storage (either on the cloud or at the edge)
  • Data transformation — conversion of raw data for machine learning models
  • Condition monitoring — alerts based on asset operating limits
  • Asset health evaluation — generating diagnostic records based on trend analysis if asset health has already started declining
  • Prognostics — generating predictions of failure through machine learning models and estimating remaining life
  • Decision support system — recommendations of best actions
  • Human interface layer — making all information accessible in an easy-to-understand format

Failure prediction, fault diagnosis, failure-type classification and recommendation of relevant maintenance actions are all a part of predictive maintenance methodology.

North America Predictive Maintenance Market

North America Predictive Maintenance Market by Vertical 2017 -2022

As solar customers become increasingly aware of the growing maintenance costs and downtime caused by unexpected machinery failures, predictive maintenance solutions are gaining even more traction. For energy companies in particular, this type of predictive maintenance can serve as a significant competitive advantage in front of customers.

The bigger players have already been using this methodology for more than a decade. Small- and medium-sized companies in the solar sector also can reap its advantages by keeping repair costs low and meeting initial operational costs.

Predictive maintenance is also a step ahead of preventive maintenance. As maintenance work is scheduled at preset intervals, maintenance technicians are informed of the likelihood of parts and components failing during the next work cycle and can take action to minimize downtime.

In addition to the advantages of controlling repair costs, avoiding warranty costs for failure recovery, reducing unplanned downtime and eliminating the causes of failure, predictive maintenance employs non-intrusive testing techniques to evaluate and compute asset performance trends. Additional methods used can include thermodynamics, acoustics, vibration analysis and infrared analysis.

What stakeholders need is a bankable analytics and engineering service partner who can help them leverage data science not only to predict embryonic asset failures, but also to eliminate them and take action in a timely manner.

Sean Otto leads business development for Cyient’s Advanced Analytics team.


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— Solar Builder magazine

Cypress Creek Renewables adds PV plant drone inspection services from Raptor Maps

Raptor Maps

Raptor Maps, a Boston-based software company focused on helping enterprise solar companies adopt drone technology to reduce asset management costs and increase plant production, reached an agreement with Cypress Creek Renewables to support their internal UAS team with data analytics and reports from PV plant inspections. Raptor Maps software will be used by the Cypress Creek UAS team to automate the processing and generate reports on over 300 drone solar inspections to be performed in 2019.

“We realized early on that a robust aerial thermography program was something we wanted to pursue. We started scanning sites in 2016 and in early 2017, ordering a fleet of drones and staffing a team of electrical engineers and qualified technicians to lead our Reliability Engineering program. We quickly found that combining technical analysis with boots on the ground resulted in improved facility performance and reduced O&M costs by minimizing truck rolls,” said Kyle Cooper, Vice President of Operations and Maintenance of Cypress Creek Renewables.

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Raptor Maps provides software for artificial intelligence and PV system analytics, and has built the most enterprise-friendly data model in the industry. The company analyzed more than 4,000 MW (4 GW) of PV systems in 2018 across 6 continents. Its analytics are in compliance with both asset owner requirements and infrared thermography standards.

Cypress Creek Renewables, one of the largest integrated solar energy companies in the U.S. has developed one of the leading internal UAS programs for the inspection of PV plants, with over 3 GW of self-performed solar drone inspections since inception. The company has worked with Raptor Maps on a proof-of-concept pilot over the last several months. After successful completion of this 150 MW pilot, they decided to roll-out the Raptor Maps solution on all solar inspections in 2019 and the following years.

“This partnership allows our Reliability Engineering team to focus on inspections, repairs, and analysis and leave the heavy lifting of reviewing thousands of images for anomalies to automation without measurable impacts to accuracy. The partnership will lead to improved report turnaround time, more time devoted to inspections and repairs, and most importantly improved facility performance for our customers,” said Kyle Cooper.

How it works

The software platform automates the review of the tens of thousands of infrared (thermal) and high-definition (digital color) images captured during a solar farm inspection, identifying and localizing DC-health and environmental anomalies impacting plant performance. Analytics generated from the inspection are delivered inside the Raptor Maps web-based software platform, with specifics provided on the exact location of each anomaly following internal naming conventions, each anomaly’s affect on plant production, and a prioritization of all issues for streamlined decision making regarding further investigation in the field.

Software modifications were made by Raptor Maps with input from the Cypress Creek UAS team to ensure all reporting met the organizations internal requirements. Final inspection results can be downloaded locally as a final report in several formats or can be viewed online by anyone involved with the PV asset.

— Solar Builder magazine

Solar-Log USA rolls out PV system monitoring as a service with Solar-Log WEB-4U

SolarLog WEB 4U

Solar monitoring services are valuable to the solar system owners and to installers as an ongoing part of their relationship with the customer. Solar Data Systems is rolling out the latest service in its line of Solar-Log performance monitoring and energy management solutions, Solar-Log WEB-4U. With this service, Solar-Log professionals can pro-actively monitor solar plant performance from one central command unit.

Solar-Log WEB-4U is an excellent service option for small installers looking to increase their O&M arm without a substantial increase in overhead. It is also an excellent option for large installers with a big commercial and/or residential fleet. As a valuable time and cost savings tool, Solar-Log WEB-4U provides a way for installers to offer service agreements as an additional revenue stream and a tactical advantage to beat out the competition.

“Monitoring as a service means that our technicians offer full-service monitoring to our customers,” said Silvia Blumenschein, CEO of Solar Data Systems, Inc. “Solar-Log WEB-4U was developed to help our customers increase the efficiency of the O&M process and lower back-end costs. Customers have the assurance that professional technicians are monitoring their fleet using the best performance software available in the commercial and residential space.”

How it works

Solar-Log WEB Enerest users can sign up for a Solar-Log WEB-4U contract, eliminating the need for their team to do daily checks and analysis on their solar PV plants while still ensuring the health of their fleet. The primary objective is that system failures, performance errors, and site communication issues are detected immediately. The Solar-Log WEB-4U team notifies the customer and includes an explanation of the failure, indicating the possible solution. This allows the field technician to take timely action and ensures minimal plant downtime.

As part of the service package, Solar-Log technicians apply a 39-point check to make sure all devices are installed properly and communicating through the Solar-Log WEB Enerest portal. Fault messages are reviewed, checked for plausibility, and reported with possible solutions. Customers are informed of any plant performance errors immediately, reducing downtime and maximizing power production. Customers are also provided with customized daily, weekly, or monthly reports on the health of their solar PV plant fleet.

Solar-Log provides a highly streamlined data driven platform through a combination of hardware, software, and services. Data from different devices is collected, validated, normalized, transferred, and displayed in a single window. Fast pace visualization tracks the performance and quality of solar energy installations. Solar-Log also creates a monitoring service platform and a data driven knowledge-base for evaluating asset performance history.

The Solar-Log WEB-4U service includes a configuration check to confirm that all of the devices are detected and communicating with the Solar-Log. It also ensures that specifications, like orientation and pitch, are properly defined to help with accurate yield forecasting and more precise performance alerts. The configuration check is also offered as a stand-alone service to Solar-Log WEB Enerest users.


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The Residential Rooftop Report for the first quarter of 2019 is now available for download. The theme is “Heating Up Sales,” and we’ve teamed up with report sponsor Aurora Solar to examine ways for residential solar installation companies to lower customer acquisition costs, close more leads and overall run a more streamlined, efficient local solar business. Just fill out the form below to access your free report.



















— Solar Builder magazine

Invenergy Services to start managing renewable energy assets for third-party owners

invenergy

Invenergy, a privately-held global developer and operator of sustainable energy solutions, is expanding the services of its Invenergy Services platform to serve third-parties such as businesses, utilities and other asset owners.

“With increased asset ownership from utilities and investors, owners are pursuing options in the market for value-added service partners,” said Alex George, Invenergy SVP, Asset Management & Operations. “Our track record of success as an asset owner and operator offers an owner-minded, managed-risk approach that differentiates Invenergy Services.”

Anchored by a progressive and open safety culture, Invenergy Services currently manages over 10,000 MW of wind, solar, natural gas and battery storage facilities, including 2,800 megawatts owned by third-parties. While validating its offerings in the market over the past year, Invenergy Services signed contracts totaling over 1,200 megawatts with durations up to 20 years for a range of services including operations and maintenance, balance of plant, asset management, engineering and analytics, and energy management across wind, solar and battery storage technologies.

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“Invenergy Services’ expertise is an advantage for owners looking to maximize energy asset performance and value,” said Brad Purtell, Director of Invenergy Services Business Development. “By managing assets for other owners alongside our existing portfolio of Invenergy-owned assets, Invenergy Services enables customers to leverage fleet-scale benefits and harness actionable engineering and analytics programs.”

Invenergy Services maintains a production-based wind turbine availability that significantly exceeds DNV-GL’s industry projections. At the plants, dedicated teams of on-site expert technicians perform maintenance and inspections throughout the year. At the state-of-the-art Invenergy Control Center (ICC), more than 50 operations engineers, performance analysts and control room operators provide 24/7 monitoring with access to over 500 million data points per hour, helping to deliver maximum performance and reliability.

— Solar Builder magazine