Unlocking Renewable Energy at the Edge

Published On: 27th July 2018//1.7 min read//

Renewable energy sources are our future. The industry is growing at a rapid pace, with an 8.3% increase in global renewable capacity in 2017 alone (IRENA, 2018). Renewable capacity is expected to increase by a further 43% by 2022 (IEA, 2017), a figure that has potential to be much higher, should renewable energy companies harness technology in the correct way.

One of the renewable energy providers that is thriving at the edge is E.ON Climate & Renewables, a part of the world’s largest private investor-owned power and gas company, E.ON Group. As a company that is actively generating energy through a variety of renewable means – onshore and offshore wind, biomass, photovoltaic, and solar – E.ON requires highly available storage, across manned and unmanned remote sites, including over 100 onshore and offshore wind farms.

There are certain things that a renewable energy site requires. They cannot incur significant downtime and hence require highly available storage systems; they need to be leveraged from their central office, especially in the case of unmanned sites; they must be able to withstand variations in performance, since there will always be day to day variation in energy production depending on weather and demand; simplicity, due to the volume of sites, the chosen storage solution needs to be easy to deploy and manage. All of these factors call for a flexible, highly available, simple solution.

E.ON chose to deploy StorMagic SvSAN at their wind farm locations. Since the majority of their sites are remote and difficult to access, deploying a physical SAN was far too complex and costly, and would create a single point of failure in each facility’s infrastructure, running the risk of incurring downtime for up to six days.

SvSAN simplifies storage at the edge. As a cost-effective, flexible solution, which can be up and running in under 15 minutes, it was the perfect solution for E.ON’s remote sites. With the new addition of full data encryption to the latest edition SvSAN, it is now possible to create a completely secure, highly available remote site, for up to 85% less than competitor solutions.

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