May 3, 2021 — Customer Stories
Wallenstam uses Greenbyte to rise and shine
We talk to Kaj Lamton, operations manager for wind at Swedish firm Wallenstam, about how the Greenbyte Platform helps to set him up for the day.
Marketing Project Manager, Greenbyte
Some people start the day with a coffee. Not Kaj Lamton.
“Every morning starts with Greenbyte,” says Lamton, who is operations manager for wind at Swedish independent power producer and real estate company Wallenstam. “First I check the monitor to see what the status is right now, and then I use Analyze to see what this month’s production is looking like and that it matches the budget.”
Then he’s set up for the day!
There’s a good reason why this is part of Lamton’s daily routine: Wallenstam is one of Greenbyte’s oldest customers, and has been committed to renewables for many years. The company has been self-sufficient in producing renewable power from its own sources since 2013, and we started to work together in 2014.
Wallenstam’s current commitment to sustainability include reducing energy use in its properties, removing fossil fuels, and installing solar with battery storage in some of its properties. It is also investing in research into how to deploy solar and storage, and is committed to installing solar on all of its commercial and residential buildings, which are based in the cities of Gothenburg, Stockholm and Uppsala.
The company has a large property portfolio. Wallenstam currently manages more than 4,100 apartments in Gothenburg, which makes it one of the largest private rented housing operators in the city, as well as 5,900 in the Stockholm region.
Overall, around half (58%) of its 1.2million square metre portfolio is residential properties, with the rest (42%) made up of assets including offices, shops, leisure buildings, warehouse, educational facilities and garages.
Meanwhile, as an IPP, the company uses the Greenbyte Platform to manage all 66 wind turbines in its 143MW portfolio. These produce 400GWh per year.
In this article, we talk to Lamton about how Wallenstam uses data in the Greenbyte Platform to improve its operational efficiency and the profitability of its wind assets, which are located across Sweden. He also explains why good data is crucial to the company’s approach to negotiating with suppliers and reporting on its production.
“I probably spend 15-20 minutes every morning in the Platform and, by doing that, I notice immediately if there is a fault or a status code that needs looking at,” he says. “The I can check with the turbine maker to ensure their service team is already on it!”
However, Lamton says it was a very different situation before Wallenstam started to work with Greenbyte in 2014. He says the company was experiencing a problem to secure accurate forecasts over the expected power production at its wind assets.
The lack of accurate in-depth forecasts presents a challenge for operators such as Wallenstam, which rely on them to predict when to carry out servicing to minimise losses due to downtime. While companies in the wind industry have seen progress in the accuracy of these forecasts since 2014, the issue for operators is as important as ever. This is because changes in the industry mean that operators must run assets with tighter profit margins, and so the forecasts they need must be more accurate than ever.
The other pressure for Wallenstam is that Lamton is one of just two people with the responsibility for managing operational wind farms, alongside Matti Kainelainen. This is because Wallenstam previously owned a separate operations and maintenance firm, which it sold to the north Swedish power company Jämtkraft. Having a small team means they need a system that gives them in-depth and reliable oversight of assets in real-time.
Lamton says this is one of the main benefits of the Greenbyte Platform: Wallenstam is able to collate and manage turbine performance data from different turbine makers in one place and monitor it daily, instead of waiting for a report. He says Wallenstam has been impressed that Greenbyte was able to understand these needs and offer it this functionality in those early days, and make great improvements over the years.
“It has been great to be a part of the Greenbyte journey and to experience first-hand how the product has been developed and improved over the years,” he says. “We asked to have our energy budget values in the system and they sorted it, so now we can check production against budget on a daily basis.”
As a result, he says that Wallenstam can plan maintenance at its wind assets three to five days ahead. He says the company mostly uses the system to analyse turbine performance and create custom reports that it can then send on to turbine makers, including Enercon and Vestas, so they can discuss optimization and downtime.
“It’s not an issue for the system that we have turbines of different makes and models. We still have a clear overview of all the assets in the platform, and it gives us an opportunity to compare them to each other, in real time,” he says.
As well as helping in negotiations with turbine manufacturers, Lamton adds that the information and support from Greenbyte also helps in negotiations over power purchase agreements as it gives Wallenstam of the power production at its projects.
“The communication was especially appreciated when we were working with PPA and other financial parts of the production. Greenbyte really ensured that we could stay on top of things,” he explains.
This collaboration has helped both firms to face the evolving renewable energy world together: “It really has been a journey and I feel like we have had good discussions along the way where we have learned from each other – and we continue to learn!”
Surely there can’t be a better way to start the day.
If you want to make Greenbyte part of your morning routine, please get in touch.