There’s truly no overstating the value of asset performance management for utilities businesses – especially those in the thick of the energy transition. APM solutions cater to many of the toughest challenges the modern utility faces
Growth of Renewables Penetration
For example, consider the growth of renewables penetration. To reach Net Zero commitments, all utilities are scrambling to increase the number of renewables supplying their grids. Synonymous with that increase is an uptick in distributed energy resources (DERs). DERs, as we all know, introduce complexity to grids, especially via their bidirectional power flows – something that many existing power assets were not designed to accommodate. This puts a huge strain on asset health.
In addition, it’s no secret that grids are aging, and much of their infrastructure is nearing end-of-life. This means assets are even more vulnerable to damage from excessive usage and complex power flows. With asset performance management solutions, you can more closely monitor your assets and determine if any are at risk of failing from excessive loads or other factors.
There’s also the challenge of keeping the lights on for consumers. Your customers don’t want to hear about the difficulties of maintaining a steady flow of power amidst severe weather events, unpredictable renewable energy, and other hurdles. And they especially don’t want to hear about an avoidable equipment failure that could take several days (not to mention potentially tens of thousands of dollars in emergency work) to recover from. asset performance management solutions can minimize the chances of ever encountering that uncomfortable situation. The right solution can unlock better preventative maintenance by continuously monitoring asset performance and flagging potential failures in advance. Such advance notice is key to avoiding costly and disruptive asset failures.
Workforce Approaching Retirement
Utilities face another critical challenge that few in the industry associate with APM solutions – the labor gap. Every utility leader has lost sleep over the looming labor shortage in their industry. Hardly surprising, since the U.S. Department of Labor has projected that 50% of utility professionals will retire between 2022 and 2032. With this mass exodus, a lot of irreplaceable institutional knowledge will be lost – including knowledge of asset performance and reliability.
That’s yet another opportunity for asset performance management solutions. Current in-house expertise can be augmented with powerful, yet intuitive APM solutions that constantly monitor and generate insights about asset health, asset reliability, and performance. And when in-house experts inevitably retire, APM solutions provide a backup source of knowledge.