Ventolines uses Greenbyte to manage almost 1GW of assets
written by Power Factors
“When we are selling our management services, we use Greenbyte as a selling point because it is accessible to our customers by mobile app — and online, of course.” Tonny Kroes, head of asset management at Dutch firm Ventolines, has used the Greenbyte Platform — which was originally called Breeze — since 2015.
Ventolines uses the digital asset management platform to manage assets, including large onshore and offshore wind projects in the Netherlands, for its third-party customers.
These include the 383MW Fryslan nearshore wind farm, which is based on the IJsselmeer Lake in the Netherlands and was commissioned in 2021; the 175MW onshore wind development De Drentse Monden & Oostermoer; and the 144MW Westermeerwind nearshore wind farm.
Overall, Ventolines had guided clients in the development, construction and management of more than 2GW installed capacity of renewable energy.
The business currently manages operational assets totaling 800MW, and is set to exceed 1GW in 2023. The firm also supervised the installation of turbines and advised on asset management for the first operational US offshore wind farm – the 30MW Block Island – and signed up as an offshore wind expertise partner to the Mayflower Wind joint venture of Shell New Energies and Ocean Winds in 2020, for which it provided transportation and installation expertise.
Kroes expects further overseas growth: “In the coming five years, we want to try to double at least in size and also to grow internationally. If you want to grow internationally and ensure the quality of the services, then you need to be standardized,” he says. This is why it is seeking to become ISO 55001 certified in 2022.
We spoke to Kroes about his experience with Greenbyte in the last seven years, and how it enables Ventolines to manage renewables assets effectively for clients.
Ventolines was set up in 2007 and, when Kroes joined in 2011, his goal was to set up the company’s asset management operations. It now has an asset management team of ten people, including four asset managers and two data analysts.
Kroes says one of his early challenges was working with too many SCADA systems from turbine manufacturers: “We had Enercon, Vestas and then Siemens came and I said: ‘Wow, we need to do this differently. We need to integrate this in one wind farm management system. So I went to the market and checked out the options.”
This led Kroes to get in touch with Greenbyte, which was founded in 2010. He says he was impressed by the layout and user-friendliness of the system, and because it offered “the right balance of price and quality”. The firms signed a deal in 2015.
Greenbyte is now part of the Power Factors portfolio after the two companies joined forces in 2021. Kroes says Greenbyte still gives Ventolines the information it needs to manage its operations, and he is happy with the ongoing support and that the platform continues to evolve in response to changing market needs.
“What I like it that I get to discuss this with my account manager and they are still looking to improve,” he says.
Ventolines tailors its services to the needs of the individual customers. For some, its focus is purely on managing the technical side of renewable energy assets while, for others, it is more heavily involved in running the commercial and financial side too.
The firm uses Greenbyte to analyze the performance of wind turbines when they are operating but also during commissioning, before they are handed over to the owner.
“We have several projects and each has its own scope,” he says. “If it’s technical, it’s more the operational performance that we’re interested in, like availability, production losses, power maintenance planning and safety. But on some of the bigger projects we do full commercial management, so we need financial information as well.”
The company uses this data in client reports to show how assets are performing.
“As long as we have the data, we can create our own reports. The user-friendliness and how the platform is organized, with Marketplace and certain interfaces, I think the potential is almost unlimited – and that’s what we’re looking for as a customer.”
The data in Greenbyte helps the analysts at Ventolines to assess the performance of assets and identify deviations in performance that may indicate technical issues that need to be fixed. He says: “This system is capable of catching these and also notifying us. There are options to create alarms, which we are making use of.”
Kroes says he is not doing the day-to-day management of the assets but is able to dip into the Greenbyte system to check how assets are performing via the mobile app. This app is also available to Ventolines customers, which gives transparency.
“I’m making a lot of use of the mobile app, and that makes it very accessible. It’s the responsibility of the technical managers to monitor the platform, so they are always online every day looking at the devices. But I like that I can still look at it!” he says.
This helps Ventolines to manage specific maintenance issues at projects, including the additional complexity involved with operating nearshore wind farms – where the technicians need to access them by boat – as well as onshore developments.
Being able to manage different types of projects will be important for Ventolines as it seeks to keep growing in the coming years – and, for Kroes, Greenbyte will be a vital part of that process.
This story is written by Power Factors – Check out more stories from Power Factors customers