Q1 2015 PV Newsletter

13
Feb

Q1 2015 PV Newsletter

Recap of a Busy 2014, Vision for a Successful 2015:

This newsletter leads with our annual recap of the prior year, and our plans for the future. Articles as well about AlsoEnergy SCADA Site Controller, and Top 5 Reasons to Standardize on AlsoEnergy…

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Recap of a Busy 2014, Vision for a Successful 2015

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AlsoEnergy recently had our annual team meeting to review 2014 and prepare for our next year of operations. As we shared some of the feedback we have received from customers, we found one common theme voiced by many of our biggest clients:  AlsoEnergy is not standing still.

It’s true, AlsoEnergy is on the move. We completed a long list of initiatives in 2014, including developing our own SCADA site controller, our Workflow Suite of optional software features, and the effort to transfer historical DECK Monitoring sites to the PowerTrack database, so that customers can have access to both sets of software tools.

We have another long list of initiatives for 2015 to help us deliver even better products and services for an ever wider range of solar PV projects and customers. We are continually refining our internal processes to best serve our growing customer base… in 2014 we ramped up for a 2.5x increase in production loaded into the second half of the calendar year. We are already at work in 2015 to scale our production and support teams for another big year of growing demand.

As we move into 2015, we are grateful to all our monitoring and controls clients for another record-setting year of growth at AlsoEnergy. Our expanding list of loyal customers is a reflection of our devotion to customer service and support, and of our commitment to serve a wide range of project and customer needs.

It is our goal to continue growing as North America’s independent PV monitoring market leader. Our growth today ensures our continued ability to serve customers with cutting edge products, competitive pricing, and responsive service and support.

Our success as a debt-free and profitable independent provider ensures that PV project developers will continue to have an independent monitoring option that accommodates a wide range of third party hardware and software integrations across a full project portfolio. As your independent partner, we are uniquely well positioned to meet your evolving needs over the coming years.

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Top 5 Reasons to Standardize on AlsoEnergy

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All of us in the solar industry remember the incredible growth spurt that began with the 2008 economic stimulus package. The huge number of systems that realized funding in the ensuing years are starting to reach their 5-year birthdays… it’s time to reconsider your monitoring provider!

We have all learned a lot about our long-term asset and portfolio management needs in the past 5 years. Now, as you consider monitoring needs for your growing (and aging) PV portfolio, here are our top 5 reasons to standardize on AlsoEnergy.

  1. Manage all projects in a single, proven interface to save time and money:

    At AlsoEnergy, it is part of our mission to provide independent monitoring solutions that are easily integrated to a wide range of project needs. This  permits our customers to develop and accept a wide range of project specs, and offers the best solution to accommodate a diverse project portfolio with a single monitoring provider.
    If you currently have to visit more than one source to collect data for the systems in your PV portfolio, consider standardizing on the comprehensive monitoring and control solutions from AlsoEnergy:  PowerTrack and DECK Monitoring. You can reduce your O&M manpower hours when you can go to a single source for the monitoring and control needs of all systems in your fleet. Our status as an independent provider gives you the most versatility to bring your current and future portfolio holdings under one data solution ‘roof.’

  2. Manage O&M for all projects with our optional Workflow Suite:

    We developed our optional Workflow Suite software in response to requests from the largest O&M contractors on our client list. We worked hand in hand with these asset managers to develop software tools that would directly serve their daily workplace needs. The Workflow Suite offers tools that many of our asset managers already used… but they now save time and money using solar-specific workflow tools in the same software program with their monitoring and data collection functionality.
    The Workflow Suite provides two major benefits for asset managers. First, it offers a range of tools to streamline your operations, saving time and money. This includes job order ticketing and tracking, along with calendar and timeline features and customizable decision trees.
    Second, it tracks your reported costs for maintenance and repairs alongside the costs associated with downtime and performance issues (via your reported generation data). Understanding the true costs of service visits and performance losses enables informed decision making over the life of your investment, helping you meet your ROI expectations.
    Standardizing on the Workflow Suite from AlsoEnergy for all your projects offers an unprecedented opportunity to streamline operations, as well as the ability to perform deep analytics for a huge range of cost and performance factors across your full portfolio.

  3. We integrate data with our customers’ databases to streamline their business processes:

    AlsoEnergy is committed to the idea that our software should address real daily workplace needs for all PV project stakeholders, including O&M contractors, asset managers, investors, system hosts, and more. We have listened to all types business partners to address common needs, and this request has been near the top of most lists:  “make it easy to integrate and share data with our existing business systems.”
    AlsoEnergy is committed to finding solutions that meet our customers’ needs for data sharing, data reporting, and data security. Our software is currently compatible with popular software programs you may already be using, including OSI PI and SalesForce. We can work with third party databases, and have developed API access solutions for a wide range of customer needs. We have also deployed a host of customized solutions to meet client needs for data security.

  4. More options for projects with SCADA control needs:

    For utility-scale PV projects, nobody offers more options to integrate monitoring and SCADA controls into a single convenient package. We can add a monitoring component to systems with third party SCADA hardware and utility-provided metering. We also offer our own site controller, so you can cover your monitoring and control needs with a single service provider.
    The versatile AlsoEnergy site controller accommodates a wide range of SCADA control commands, ranging from device on/off controls to more sophisticated functionality. Advanced control functions include power curtailment, power ramping, and power factor correction. This package can be further enhanced with an on-site historian, which accommodates high-frequency data needs.

  5. Nobody beats our commitment to customer service and support:

    AlsoEnergy has earned a terrific base of loyal customers including top-tier banks and utilities, along with national contractors, developers, and EPCs. Our clients stay with us for a number of reasons, but our commitment to customer service and support is near the top of everybody’s list.
    Part of the challenge for independent monitoring providers is to aggregate data from a wide range of hardware devices, across a spectrum of web and cellular data technologies, into each customer’s personalized software interface. In this environment, experienced customers value AlsoEnergy not only for our broad expertise, but also for our no-nonsense commitment to support and issue resolution. We never leave you hanging.

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Get to Know the AlsoEnergy SCADA Site Controller

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Lately we are seeing more and more utility scale PV customers who are seeking a monitoring component for their projects. For projects that require a control component as well, our traditional solution has been to integrate the AlsoEnergy monitoring solution with third party or utility SCADA control systems.

Starting last year, however, AlsoEnergy introduced our own site controller, allowing customers to get monitoring plus SCADA controls in a fully integrated package. This package offers the convenience of working with a single source provider for your monitoring and control systems. That means you get the advantages of unlimited service and support from the dedicated solar PV specialists at AlsoEnergy.

Customers with the AlsoEnergy Site Controller can access SCADA controls from an on-site workstation, or through their web-based monitoring interface. This gives you the ability to remotely manage a full portfolio of utility-scale PV systems from any location.

But can the AlsoEnergy Site Controller deliver all the SCADA commands required in your project spec? We have designed our Site Controller solution to offer comprehensive insight and control over electrical distribution networks. Here is a partial list of the control factors available in our complete SCADA + Monitoring solution:

  • Send inverter commands to connect/disconnect
  • Set max power
  • Set VARs
  • Execute power factor corrections
  • Control energy storage to manage charge/discharge, peak load shifting, etc.
  • Set ramp rate and duration
  • Schedule commands
  • Command feedback window
  • Activity log

But experienced engineers know that SCADA systems are evaluated not only by what control functions they offer, but also by their capacity to record and analyze high speed data. For systems needing high frequency data functionality, AlsoEnergy offers the optional On-Site Historian. This package enables high speed data collection and analysis. We can customize a high-speed solution to meet your project specs.

The AlsoEnergy Site Controller solution can be customized to provide visibility and control access for your utility company. You can also integrate our solution with third party software programs you may already be using, including OSI PI and SalesForce. For customers with data security requirements, we have deployed solutions that secure these communications over standard copper Ethernet, cellular, and radio links… or we can customize a locally hosted solution.

As an independent provider in the solar PV market, we are committed to maintain compatibility with a wide range of devices and technologies. This gives our customers have maximum flexibility to cover their full portfolios with a single monitoring and controls solution. For more information, please contact an AlsoEnergy Account Executive today!