Part of a series on integrating renewables for remote locations in Australia. The insights and learnings in this document, funded by ARENA as part of its knowledge sharing remit, focus on the rationale for robust data management and the development of data specification guide for off-grid and fringe-of-grid renewables projects.
Robust data is critical to delivering the expected technical and financial performance of renewable installations. Renewable technologies have high capital (up-front) costs so rely on accurate forecasts of delivered energy over their lifetime. They also have low/visible ongoing costs that makes it easy for underperformance to go unnoticed. As many projects are monitored off-site, absolute confidence that your monitoring equipment is accurately accounting every metric that impacts on your return is critical.
A strong data set is especially important for the off-grid sector. An intimate knowledge of the existing load and infrastructure is essential when designing a system that meets the reliability expectations of the buyers (“offtakers”), especially industrial end users.
ARENA has developed a best practice guide for specifying the data collection required to protect yield and ensure ongoing performance. We are actively encouraging use of this tool. Our experience is that this is an area that is frequently overlooked in the design and implementation of renewable installations.