Ardian deploys renewables digital systems for post-subsidy market

Ardian Infrastructure has set out to implement a future-proof end-to-end renewable energy monitoring online platform.

Ardian, a world leading investor in renewable energy, has partnered with leading software-as-a-service firms Greenbyte and Pexapark on a major upgrade to its digital asset management systems for its 3.5-GW-plus renewable energy portfolio.

Working directly with the teams at Greenbyte — a software platform designed to optimize renewable energy production across global portfolios — and Pexapark — a business that sets out to evolve the “operating system” for post-subsidy renewable energy management — Ardian Infrastructure has set out to implement a future-proof end-to-end renewable energy monitoring online platform that will help it and the management teams of its renewable platforms to create additional value and monitor technical and market risks in tandem.

These risk management goals are growing in significance and urgency for investors and operators as the renewables sector worldwide transitions into a new phase of operation; 10 years ago, most projects benefited from long-term subsidies. Today, the removal of subsidies across many markets means asset revenues and price risk must be actively managed through power purchase agreements (PPAs) and other revenue hedging mechanisms.

“Increasing exposure to the volatility of the ‘merchant’ power market is driving a fundamental shift in the way we look at and manage our portfolio for our investors,” said Mathias Burghardt, Head of Ardian Infrastructure. “On the one hand, we need to place greater emphasis on optimizing production to extract as many megawatt hours of clean power as possible from our assets. On the other, we must build our energy sales and risk management best-in-class expertise to control and hedge our financial exposure and stay on top of market dynamics to capture the best windows of opportunity.”

As Ardian continues to expand its renewables portfolio across Europe, the U.S., and Latin America, seeking further investment opportunities in its core markets while considering their transition out of subsidies, Ardian Infrastructure with its digital and data science team has taken a pioneering approach to digitizing its operating models.

By integrating Greenbyte’s asset monitoring and management platform, the Ardian Infrastructure team aims at being able to oversee and benchmark technical performance across its portfolio, covering three markets in Europe, five markets in the U.S., and two in Latin America.

“Full transparency on asset performance is a hugely powerful tool, and Greenbyte gives Ardian and its management teams a means of creating accountability, not only with its own investors, but also with regional operations & maintenance (O&M) teams and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs),” said Jonas Corné, CEO, Greenbyte. “This data will help Ardian incentivize performance and value creation activities across the portfolio, as well as hold other parties to account during contractual negotiations.”

For the European portfolio, production data from Greenbyte feeds directly into Pexapark’s “operating system” of energy revenue and risk management tools, which provide a comprehensive and transparent view on the realized market value of Ardian’s renewables assets in Europe, while constantly assessing the long-term value, risk and performance of the entire portfolio, and energy contracts.

This powerful combination of technical, revenue, and energy risk data is already enabling Ardian Infrastructure to undertake important portfolio-wide analysis, including a target of “revenue-based availability” calculations that can be used to optimize and schedule maintenance programs for periods of low production and low prices. In the longer-term, it will help the team to build a renewables portfolio that is optimized to manage the full range of market risks in the “new world” of renewable energy operation.

“Ardian Infrastructure’s pioneering approach to building its arsenal of digital tools for post-subsidy energy sales and risk management is quickly setting it apart in the market,” said Luca Pedretti, COO, Pexapark. “The Ardian team shows that, with the right ‘operating system’ in place, nimble renewable energy funds can reimagine their models to rival even the traditional utilities who benefit from decades of energy trading expertise.”