While there is clear value in remote operations, there are challenges of building a scalable cross facility approach. One must consider how to accept a variety of data feeds, normalize the information collected, and present the data in a way that can be acted upon.
New energy generating methods create load variability
Many grids are no longer homogeneous with a single source of energy production. Fossil equipment is being augmented by renewable energy sources. Many fleets have a significant influx of new assets that must be managed. With the lack of predictability of renewable energy sources, fossil generation is still needed to fill the gap. And if everything renewable is at a standstill, they might be called to revert to their full load profiles within short notice. These changing conditions require a new philosophy of plant management.
Power usage is erratic
As some consumers adopt a variety of energy methods and populations require abundantly more power, the strain on a given plant is far more variable than it has been in the past. For example, a household with solar panels may have virtually no energy demands on clear days, but will spike their needs on overcast days. Plant operators can no longer manage to a steady, consistent energy load that is seasonal in nature. Instead, they must be prepared to flex generation with a variety of conditions on a daily, even hourly basis.