Omexom RE Solar has designed OkiO, a tool that can monitor and optimise the management of renewable energy sources. This energy hypervision platform has been deployed across all of the assets managed by the company.
Omexom RE Solar is a VINCI Energies business unit that specialises in the construction of solar PV plants and high voltage substations for renewable energy sources. It also provides operation and maintenance services for these facilities.
“As our business has grown, we have ended up with a lot of assets to manage that are very different in terms of size, architecture and technology,” says Yves Daguin, head of Omexom RE Solar. “As the operator of more than 500MW of renewable assets, we needed to optimise our processes and make them more efficient.”
The stakes are high since Omexom RE Solar is not only committed to delivering generation capacity to its clients but also to ensuring facility uptime and production performance. In 2020, the company decided to build its own hypervision tool with the aim of standardising its processes. Its name, OkiO, which comes from the word for eye in Italian, “occhio”, was chosen as part of a participatory approach involving employees. The purpose of the new tool is to enable the Omexom RE Solar control hub, based in Baillargues near Montpellier in south-eastern France, which monitors all company assets, to access the key data of all these facilities in real time and thus optimise power generation.
“As turnkey contractor for power producers, we manage equipment and systems that are often proprietary, in other words closed, and that can cause scalability problems at the operation phase for example when they come to be updated,” points out Yves Daguin. “So it’s vital that we have a tool that centralises and secures the data from these facilities so that we can utilise it as we see fit.”
Beyond solar PV
After 6 months of work defining the technical specifications to be incorporated into the tool and its software architecture, Omexom RE Solar started developing a beta version of OkiO in 2021. This was tested on two assets with different needs: a solar PV plant and a switchyard. Following this initial adjustment phase, the company has been deploying the tool since the summer of 2022 across all of its assets.
“We’ve noticed a marked improvement in performance indicators and up-time.”
“We are also performing tests on several facilities that we didn’t build ourselves – the challenge in this case being to collect all the data we need,” adds the business unit manager. His company’s long-term ambition with OkiO is to: “extend the scope of the hypervision platform to cover facilities that generate other types of renewable energy like hydroelectric power, wind power and hydrogen.”
Better performance ratios
In the meantime, and in addition to rolling out OkiO across all of the assets operated by the company in France, Omexom RE Solar is starting to deploy the tool internationally. “We’ve already noticed that it saves a lot of time in data analysis and as a result that it significantly improves performance indicators and plant up-time. This improvement is driven, among other things, by a weather monitoring system which enables us to establish performance scenarios introducing the idea of prediction,” says Yves Daguin. “It provides our clients with the assurance that they can feed more power into the grid and thereby boost performance,” he concludes.