Setting up data foundations to enable a global leader in solar power generation to scale (Case study from OnePoint)
Author Garima Dosi, Enterprise Architect at Onepoint
Our client (let’s dub them SolarCo) builds and operates utility-scale solar power farms around the world. They are rapidly scaling up to help meet the rising demand for reliable electricity while supporting the global energy transition to net zero.
Each of SolarCo's solar farms is equipped with SCADA systems that collect data from thousands of components in near-real time. This data needs to be cleansed, transformed, aggregated, and analysed for decision-making and reporting.
SolarCo wanted to build a central data lake to store this data in its raw format and enable efficient data management. The company also faced several challenges with its existing data management practices:
- Data silos — Business teams in different regions used different methods and tools, creating inefficiencies.
- High data volumes — SolarCo's existing data processing systems (SQL Server and Pentaho) were not scalable enough to handle the high volume of data from its growing number of solar farms.
- Data lineage tracking — It was difficult to track how data was being cleansed using existing systems.
- Fragmented data sources — SolarCo's data was scattered across multiple sources and systems, making it difficult to get a unified view.
SolarCo wanted trusted, independent advice and support from a specialist consultancy to help them select the best solution and architect and build an enterprise-grade cloud data warehouse and reporting solution.
Applying Onepoint’s Valuepath™ approach, we first conducted a series of prototyping and benchmarking exercises to decide on the best-fit data lake option for SolarCo’s requirements.
Snowflake, a leading cloud data warehouse platform, was chosen as the main data storage and processing engine. A leading enterprise business intelligence platform, PowerBI, was chosen for reporting and analytics. Microsoft Azure cloud platform and services would be used for data ingestion, scheduling, and orchestration.
With the solution defined, the stage was set for Onepoint to switch from advisor mode to delivery partner. Working closely with SolarCo’s business analysts and technologists, Onepoint’s architects, data engineers, testers, and DevOps professionals brought the overall solution to life applying agile practices.
Onepoint's cloud data warehouse solution helped SolarCo achieve:
- Agile scaling — Storage, processing, and IT spend scale effortlessly as SolarCo expands globally.
- Improved insights — Business users have better transparency and insights for over 160 sites worldwide.
- Operational efficiencies — By reducing report creation time and effort, SolarCo redeployed staff to higher-value activities.
- Advanced analytics — Data scientists and analysts can access clean data from a single platform to execute advanced use cases, like predictive analytics, that drive strategic and operational decisions.
SolarCo's success led to Onepoint being invited to work on a series of strategic technology and data initiatives. We are proud to be trusted partners in helping SolarCo achieve its growth ambitions and digital transformation.
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