Smarter power supply

Electricity demand is set to more than double by 2050, and solar PV and wind power will supply most of that electricity. The increasing variability of energy supply will lead to a need for smarter energy systems with greater flexibility and storage. We help customers to manage risks throughout their project lifecycle, advising on the flexible integration of renewables, infrastructure resilience, the use of sensor-derived data, and new and emerging technologies for storage and interconnectivity between grids.

Investing in renewables

Renewables are growing faster, and increasingly it is investor and consumer awareness driving the transition. Brands and companies are taking the lead by clean energy deals as part of their corporate social responsibility initiatives. DNV GL is helping to secure investments for these relatively new players by performing technical due diligences for the 25 MW Windfloat Atlantic project, the 294 MW Bjerkem cluster, the 659 MW Walney Extension and many other projects. 

Where sustainability is an essential part of a company’s business model but not its core business, DNV GL supports these companies by offering a variety of services ranging from feasibility to installation and commissioning, followed by 24/7 monitoring of the assets. A project involving 14 warehouse-rooftop PV systems with a total installed capacity of 10 MW was technically secured with the help of DNV GL. 

Financial business cases are built on reliable and accurate models and predictions. DNV GL is helping to improve wind farm energy output predictions by incorporating more data on potential blockage effects to counter overprediction of production capacity. Blockage sources are now embedded in our wind resource models.

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Electricity storage

The variability of renewable energy sources requires the provision of additional flexibility, including utility-scale battery storage. Not only utilities are looking into energy storage solutions. Governments are setting policy targets and communities are already implementing their own storage capacity. 

In Australia, DNV GL is leading efforts to create a new performance standard for domestic-scale energy storage that will help residential and smaller commercial consumers make more informed buying decisions. In Europe, DNV GL performed a feasibility study showing the economic viability of grid-connected energy storage solutions. 

These community battery systems can solve grid congestion problems as an alternative to grid expansion and serve more than one user: the owner, operating company and grid operator. In the US, DNV GL has released its first annual Battery Performance Scorecard to help equip energy storage product buyers with objective data to guide their purchase strategies.

Turkey plans to reach its national renewable energy target of 30% by 2030. DNV GL is performing a feasibility study of combined solar and energy storage solutions. New storage technologies are being reviewed and technical specifications drafted, leading to a lower levelized cost of energy from solar power in Turkey. 

In the UK, energy storage experts provided technical advice and due diligence to secure the acquisition of a 10 MW project in Essex and a 9 MW project in Tilbury, bringing the total investors’ portfolio to 29 MW across four projects.

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Grid flexibility

Variable renewable energy sources and increasing electricity demand is also leading to new solutions in grid technology. Grid operations must switch from a situation where demand varies and generation adjusts, to one in which generation varies and demand adjusts. 

The lowest-cost options take advantage of existing infrastructure combined with advanced information technology to more efficiently match electricity supply and demand. Following the development of its grid-connected energy storage recommended practice, DNV GL has developed the StRe@M model, which is able to capture and determine the stackable revenues of flexibility resources. 

Adding renewable energy sources to existing grid infrastructures requires sound asset data and smart project development decision tools. The Renewables GeoPlatform application is a one-stop platform for geospatial data that encompasses resource models and mapping systems integrating decades of modelled data.

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24/7 performance monitoring through digitalization

Digitalization is helping the shift to renewables, enabling greater efficiencies and better control of operations. In 2018, DNV GL launched the world’s first data monitoring platform which integrates wind, solar and energy storage systems, GPM Horizon. This allows renewable energy developers to take advantage of digital technologies and run assets in a much smarter way. The system now monitors 22 GW of renewables across sites worldwide. 

DNV GL’s Smart Cable Guard detects the location of online electrical cable network failures with an accuracy of more than 99% and can prevent 65% of such failures through its advanced partial discharge and short circuit current detection mechanism. Only launched in mid-2017, Smart Cable Guard now has more than 1,600 cable circuits under online monitoring, avoiding 9 million outage minutes each year – a number expected to double each year. 

There is little room for downtime and under-performance of energy assets. The WindGEMINI online digital twin is an advanced wind turbine condition and performance analytics tool, comprising power-performance and structural-integrity monitoring of wind turbines by leveraging both the operational SCADA data and DNV GL’s physics-based simulation models.

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Digitalization in certification

The wind turbine market is becoming increasingly competitive and consolidated. International tendering is the norm and contracts are awarded to the suppliers that can deliver turbines to suit the specific site conditions in a short timeframe, with a valid turbine type certificate. 

MyCertificate is the first interactive, digital certificate configurator for wind turbines, providing a real-time overview of all the component variants used in a particular turbine type. Users can immediately check the certification status of any custom configuration of a wind turbine type and generate a tailored certificate. 

New technologies like large offshore wind turbines with an output rate of 8 MW are vital to help the growing wind energy industry reduce the levelized cost of energy. DNV GL helped Siemens Gamesa to obtain a type certificate for their cutting-edge turbine technology.

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Going offshore

Offshore wind farms are being developed further out to sea. China has developed nearly all wind farm sites within 10 km of the shore and is now exploring up to 90 km offshore. The creation of offshore HVDC transmission systems, including offshore HVDC converter stations and submarine cables, extend existing HVAC grids. 

DNV GL has been contracted to provide technical advisory support on feasibility studies for the first-ever HVDC offshore wind substation to be built in China. In Europe, DNV GL is contracted to deliver the complete project certification for two offshore substations with a capacity of 700 MW each in the Dutch North Sea. Led by the Global Wind Energy Council, DNV GL authored the technical reports identifying potential zones for 1 GW of future offshore wind farms in two states in India. 

At the same time, DNV GL’s KEMA Laboratories tested the 320 kV HVDC gas-insulated switchgear prototype as part of the PROMOTioN project. The PROMOTioN project aims to tackle technical, regulatory, financial and legal challenges to the implementation of offshore meshed HVDC transmission networks.

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Energy efficiency

This year, DNV GL concluded a project helping a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers in Europe to cut over 360,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. Over the course of four years, an ISO 50001 compliant energy management system was implemented, leading to reductions in costs and emissions. 

Cities are seeking to accelerate the shift to cleaner, more efficient and decarbonized energy supply and use. Through our report ‘Energy transition framework for cities’, we provide an opportunity for utilities, energy providers, policymakers, financiers and investors, and cities alike to gain insight into the actions of cities and local government in the transition from fossil-fuel based energy resources to cleaner, renewable forms of energy.