Wind farming in the cloud

EDP Renewables reduced field operating costs by 25% with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service

At a glance

EDPR implemented a rapid, comprehensive cloud-based platform for workers at its wind farms around the world. Now they can work online and offline, anywhere and at any time.

Outcomes

  • 15-month design, integration and deployment
  • Rolled out to more than 350 wind farms covering 6,500 wind turbines
  • 800 field workers in 15 countries are supported
  • 25% operating cost reduction of field activities

A global leader in the renewable energy sector, EDP Renewables is the fourth-largest producer of renewable energy in the world. With a solid portfolio of projects under development, top-quality assets and market-leading exploitation capacity, EDPR is present in 15 international markets. Committed to social progress in terms of sustainability and integration, EDPR is part of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index, and holds the Top Employer 2020 certificate in Europe. Energias de Portugal, SA (EDP), EDPR’s main shareholder, is a leading international electricity company and has been on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 13 consecutive years. More at edpr.com.

Empowering clean energy workers

As a world-leading energy company, EDP Renewables needed to empower its field workers while maximizing their productivity to meet the needs and expectations of its customers.

EDP Renewables (EDPR) is a global leader in the clean energy sector. EDPR technicians working at wind farms require fast, flexible and secure access to digital tools and data. As a leader in sustainability, EDPR is also committed to achieving its decarbonization targets.

EDPR was looking for a new mobile application for its operational teams in the field and in the office. The company asked Atos, as its long-term digital and IT services partner, to recommend the best solution. Based on an assessment of the EDPR’s needs and analysis of the market, Atos proposed Microsoft Dynamics 365 Field Service as part of an integrated cost-efficient approach that also made use of the company’s existing enterprise systems. EDPR asked Atos, as a Microsoft Gold Partner, to design and implement its new field tools platform.

Implementation without disruption

EDPR’s challenge was to develop, integrate and rapidly deploy the new platform to 800 field workers in 15 countries without disrupting its operations.

Developing and delivering a cost-efficient end-to-end platform for field workers was a challenging integration task, requiring seamless integration of:

  • Azure cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Project Wise for document management
  • EDPR’s three existing SAP modules – SAP Plant Maintenance (SAP PM), Materials Management (SAP MM) and Warehouse Management (SAP WM) – so that activities and work orders related to the management of materials and warehouses could be orchestrated all from the mobile platform

The platform had to be configurable to support different kinds of assets at each wind farm. What’s more, it had to be deployed quickly to more than 350 wind farms globally with minimum business disruption.

15 countries in 15 months

EDPR and Atos worked in close partnership to design and accelerate a complex deployment to all 15 countries in only 15 months.

As well as the integration challenge, ensuring smooth migration of data while ensuring essential business continuity for EDPR was complex. Atos’s small team worked in agile sprints, leveraging Microsoft best practice and tools and working very closely with users.

Based on local analyses of user needs, the team designed an initial solution covering key functionalities for all wind farms while piloting it at 12 wind farms. This was followed by monthly releases to progressively expand the functionality, with exhaustive integration testing ahead of every release. For efficient and seamless integration with SAP, Atos created an interface and customized Microsoft Field Service to automate the mass upload of master and dynamic data.

To accelerate rollout, the team’s design meant that the solution was easily configurable for each wind farm. The team conducted a three-month pilot to test rollout at three wind farms (in the US, Spain and Portugal). Using that experience, the team successfully implemented the new platform at over 350 wind farms covering 6,500 wind turbines of different types.

The joint EDPR/Atos team worked to evolve the platform to implement all features and requirements using Microsoft tools. Atos was engaged to maintain the platform and support users.

EDPR successfully implemented a rapid and comprehensive cloud-based platform for workers at its wind farms around the world. Now they can work online and offline, anywhere and at any time.

Field workers can access and process information in the field, in the office or on the move, and update it in real time. Business functions, processes and locations can be added and changed quickly and easily. The platform:

  • Improves communication and simplifies coordination between teams
  • Helps maximize productivity for individuals and team
  • Enables timely data-driven operational and planning decisions
  • Saves time by eliminating the need to re-enter technical information after inspections
  • Includes real-time management and predictive maintenance functions to improve safety and cost-efficiency of assets

A more sustainable business

The platform also contributes to EDPR’s sustainability goals:

  • More mobile and flexible working reduces travel and lowers carbon emissions
  • Cloud-based services are energy-efficient and low-carbon

Based on this success, EDPR and Atos are developing more functionalities for tool management within the Dynamics 365 Field Service. The team continues to roll out the service to wind farms around the world.

Why Atos for complex Microsoft implementations

Atos and Microsoft are partners for better digital outcomes.
Atos is a leader in Digital Workplace, bringing together Microsoft’s Modern Workplace technology, based on Microsoft 365, and Atos’s end-to-end services to digitally transform workplaces. Together we build inclusive employee experiences using Microsoft digital accessibility and assistive technology.

Atos-Microsoft Partnership

“The rapid global rollout of our new field service is thanks to our close collaboration with Atos. Meeting complex implementation challenges, the team worked in an agile way to accelerate this large-scale migration while ensuring continuity for mission-critical teams and assets.”

Pedro Mano, CIO Global EDPR

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