Renewables can’t labour under technical debt for much longer

There are over 400 solar farms in the UK. The design and engineering are leading edge, but the technology infrastructure is frequently a decade or more old. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising. It’s a capital-intensive business, and the sites have to be managed to maximise returns. The focus is therefore on measuring and reporting outputs to the national grid while keeping maintenance and repair costs low. These repairs are often labour intensive, with engineers having to physically check the panels around a site that can extend for acres.

Such data as is analysed is frequently dependent on data teams working in very large excel sheets. As a new project opens, and more data flows, the only choice is to hire another data analyst. To coin a well-used, but in this case apposite term, this isn’t sustainable. Skilled, expensive staff are working with out-of-date tools to provide minimally adequate outputs that may take a week to complete. And the work arounds required increase even as they become ever-less effective.

The good news is that the right technology infrastructure will begin to pay for itself fairly quickly.

Imagine if, for example, a solar panel could tell you it was failing, its location and even what part was failing. Meteorological information, performance monitoring and much more rapid intelligence could be provided by a flexible infrastructure using state-of-the-art tools. Many companies we have spoken to recognise this, but struggle with the scale of the change required. This is at least as much down to culture as costs. But such change needn’t be disruptive, or overly expensive.

The one certainty is that eventually, as with all debts, the technical debt will need to be dealt with.

To find out more about how Bedroq is helping build solid IT foundations for a digital future get in touch.