Between a ROC And A Sunny Place: SunEdison’s Global Nerve Center For Solar Power Management

By August 9, 2013

While developing into one of the world’s leading solar companies, SunEdison has created a unique service offering to push them to the top. The global giant now has three Renewable Operations Centers (ROCs), located in India, Spain, and California, where they remotely manage more than 1 gigawatt (GW) of energy generated by solar power plants around the world.

Think of the ROC as the bridge of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier in The Avengers movie. But instead of monitoring an alien invasion, these SunEdison employees are monitoring solar power plants around the world generating electricity for entire communities

“When it comes to asset management, SunEdison is in a unique position to serve our customers,” said Mark McLanahan, vice president and general manager for global services at SunEdison.

The three ROC locations provide services 24/7, 365 days per year ensuring a continuous sustainable power flow and maximizing energy production at each solar power plant.

“Because we are an owner-operator of photovoltaic (PV) solar power plants,” McLanahan added. “We have a first-hand understanding of our customers’ requirements and this allows us to bring innovative solutions to market.”

Clearly, it’s a busy place with ROC staffers monitoring and managing the full range of components and systems within a solar installation: weather stations, pyranometers, ambient temperature sensors, panel temperature sensors, inverters, string combiners, recombiners, and AC subsystems.  The ROC’s unique analysis capabilities allow SunEdison to transform raw data into rich reports providing a system-level view of plant performance, predicting the potential of a power plant, maximizing production, uncovering operational issues, and appropriately responding to alerts.

The ROC employs sophisticated monitoring and reporting tools that detect any anomalies in system performance.  Technicians immediately analyze alerts to diagnose the cause and determine the best course of action 24 hours a day.  In many cases, issues can be resolved remotely, thus reducing the time to resolution and cutting down on expenses.

To make billing and incentive reporting easy for customers, the ROC offers energy production reports to support Performance Based Incentive and Renewable Energy Credit programs.  Additionally, the Renewable Operations Center can host tenant energy billing to support Power Purchase Agreements.

“The ROC is a very unique offering in the solar industry, and we find it to be a big difference maker,” said McLanahan. “Being able to maximize power output and handle any issues that may arise is a big asset to our clients.”

SunEdison’s Renewable Operations Centers may not fight off alien invaders, but the ROCs are working hard to create a bright future, supporting the life transforming impact of solar power in developed and developing nations.

Mark Sutherland

Mark I. Sutherland is an award-winning communicator and published author. Originally from the United Kingdom, he lives and works in the St. Louis area as the Chief Communications Officer of Elasticity and the President of Dunrobin Publishing. He has four published books and writes for the UK Weekly Telegraph and other publications. He also wears his kilt as often as possible and enjoys haggis and Scotch. He is married with four children.