Sereema is celebrating its 6th anniversary this year. PES thought it would be a good time to ask the CEO, Jérôme Imbert, to tell us about digital and asset management strategies from the beginning, how it is now and moving forward.
Six years ago, the wind industry was moving. Data was frustrating for everybody. SCADA data were available, and it seemed that the more data you had the better the control.
Yet, it took so much energy to make it speak that in the end the results were, and are still, often disappointing.
The asset management profession is changing
But then again, until recently the focus was mainly on financial optimisation, operational expenditure control and risk management. Controlling those parameters, provided that wind potential was at the expected level, was the standard to reach the yield provided by the business plan. There’s a new deal on the table.
First, prices of wind energy have plummeted and the contractual margins have shrunk. The new types of contracts, such as PPAs, are also more demanding in terms of guarantees to provide predetermined volumes of green energy… and compensations if you can’t reach them. It calls for a deeper and prompt technical mastery at the asset manager level. To keep a high portfolio ROI, they need to be fully aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their asset as a whole:
– hardware: wind turbines
– power: wind resource assessment
– service providers: field operation teams, etc.
Second, a thriving wind industry shows the tussle for new energy market winners. However, growing fleet sizes, fast and hard, also comes with the responsibility of scaling up your technical asset management efficiently. Except that there is no rulebook by which management can standardize wind farms.
The sheer complexities of adapting to various geographies, turbine models, O&M contracts, sizes and data loads are already challenging. The consensus is there: ‘the size of your team cannot expand at the same rate as the size of your fleet’.
Data was already frustrating then, especially so for asset managers. I witnessed first-hand the large volumes of information they treated on a daily basis, and at the same time, how blind they were about the real behavior of their wind farm. Sereema was born out of the desire to rise to this challenge. So, I put together engineers, developers, field experts and laboratories to build a unique innovative IoT solution for the wind industry.