As the number and size of utility-scale photovoltaic plants increases, greater emphasis will be placed on managing and monitoring PV power plants to ensure optimum performance and the required ROI. SunEdison, North America’s largest solar energy services provider is doing just that with the announcement that it has opened the first dedicated Renewable Operations Center (ROC), located in SunEdison offices at the McClellan Air Force hangar. The ROC is designed as the hub for SunEdison solar fleet performance data analysis, PV solar energy system monitoring, remote diagnostics, and automated service dispatch.
“Our goal is simple – deliver more energy and thus more savings to our customers and greater returns to investors,” noted Mark Culpepper, CTO of SunEdison. “The ROC enables SunEdison to manage remote diagnostics and, as needed, quickly dispatch local service crews in a matter of minutes. The ROC goes far beyond monitoring, creating visibility and transparency in solar energy delivered across any utility’s service territory.”
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According to SunEdison its 60MW of systems under management performed at over 100% of expected electricity generation in 2008. The utility noted that IEA data indicated that an average PV system would typically under-perform by as much as 13%.
The control and monitoring technology deployed by SunEdison also provides greater transparency into the delivery and measurement of solar energy for both provider and customer, an area that will grow in importance as grid-parity looms.