UNITe group chooses the ENGIE Solutions digital supervision system for its hydropower plants
Through its subsidiary Hydrowatt, in charge of operating its hydropower plants, the UNITe group has joined forces with ENGIE Solutions to jointly build a digital supervision tool in Software as a Service (SaaS) mode. In 2020, 6 UNITe power plants were connected to the supervision service, to be followed by the remaining 34 in 2021.
Rather than investing heavily to upgrade its ageing monitoring system, UNITe has opted for an external cloud-based supervision service. Still not widely used in the hydropower sector, this practice gives the operator access to flexible, secure technology without any new on-site installation.
The tool developed by the Digital Solutions Division at ENGIE Solutions is an open system, easy to install and flexible to use. It is an application programming interface (API) solution with modular architecture, allowing diverse applications to communicate with each other and share data. Broadly speaking, a dashboard view shows the status of all the power plants, along with their instantaneous power.
For each of UNITe’s 40 power plants in France, this tool provides it with:
- overall data (instantaneous and reactive power, voltage, current, rotation speed) and technical equipment data
- power plant monitoring data
- start-up indicators
- the list of status logs
- historic graphs and tables
- CCTV images
The flexible tool allows comparisons between power plants and can be supplemented by including external data (such as weather trends). All data is secured and backed up in real time in the cloud.
All this data is now accessible, regardless of location and the type of device available to the UNITe teams (computer, tablet or smartphone). To meet individual needs, different interfaces have been created according to user profiles with the data adapted accordingly.
ENGIE Solutions provides predictive maintenance through this software, allowing UNITe to anticipate any deterioration of its fleet.
 SaaS allows users to log in to cloud applications and use them over the Internet.
 Cloud refers to servers accessible via the Internet, as well as the software and databases that run on these servers.
The marriage of the UNITe group’s experience of operation of power plants, of very different types, over 35 years, with the ENGIE teams’ experience in the design of monitoring solutions, has enabled us to design a solution that is very flexible to use and very comprehensive, which meets our practical needs as an operator.
Through this partnership with UNITe, we are proud to put our expertise at the service of the transition to a carbon-neutral world. By developing our SaaS solution for use in hydropower, we are demonstrating that digital solutions are becoming real allies in greening the energy mix.