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Darwin: Big Data as a growth lever for renewables

As a major global force in solar and wind power, ENGIE has designed the Darwin data management platform to boost the performance of its renewable power generating facilities and develop predictive maintenance. Industrial customers, local authorities, local communities and residents will also be able to use this platform to learn more about ENGIE hydropower plants, solar photovoltaic power plants and wind farms in real time.

"The Darwin digital platform makes it possible for us to release considerable performance potential for our generating resources, and make our contribution to achieving the new Group target of a 25% renewables global portfolio by 2021," said Gwenaëlle Huet, CEO of ENGIE France Renewables.

  • The Châlons-en-Champagne Renewable Energy Control Center is one of the main users of Darwin: 109 wind farms and 17 solar photovoltaic generating plants are now connected to it;
  • that's 717 wind turbines and 105,000 solar panels in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Romania (total installed power: 1,397 MW and 45 MWp respectively)

Going digital for more effective control of power generation

Together with carbon reduction and decentralized power generation, digitalization is one of ENGIE's key priorities for promoting the global energy transition.

The Darwin digital platform is the realization of that priority: this renewables generating plant control and management system now enables ENGIE to gather, analyze and interpret all the data transmitted by the sensors installed in these smart generating plants in real time 24/7 (data such as wind turbine rotation speeds, photovoltaic panel temperatures, energy generating levels, etc.), as well as external data, such as electricity market prices and weather forecasts.

All the solar power generating plants, wind farms and hydropower plants operated by ENGIE in France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Romania are now connected to Darwin. 2017 and 2018 will see connection of all Group wind farms and solar generating plants worldwide, as well as upgrading of system functionality.

Darwin: a management and control system that also delivers valuable information to stakeholders

Darwin is primarily a supervisory system that gives the Group remote management of its renewable energy facilities, and provides decision support for their operators: performance monitoring and analysis, fault detection and alerts, predictive maintenance, weather-based scheduling of maintenance operations, etc.

So what are the benefits of the Darwin digital platform?

  • The development of predictive maintenance: the data gathered are used as the basis for action plans that can be initiated at precisely the best time
  • Cost optimization: Darwin helps to target those periods during which maintenance can be carried out most cost effectively
  • Improved plant performance: the Data Analytics algorithms and predictive models used by the system make renewable power generating facilities more profitable

But Darwin is also an information resource for local residents, companies and local authorities, offering multiple interfaces (a website, smartphone app and chat bot) developed by ENGIE to provide them with real-time information on generating facilities and their performance.

Darwin: ENGIE’s digital renewable energy solutions
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