What you need to consider when selecting a SCADA solution:


The investment in your SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system and software should not be taken lightly. For utility scale renewable plants, a full SCADA solution can range from 1-5% of the total project cost.

However, SCADA is responsible for controlling the plant and providing all the data for the life of the project. Ensuring you select a robust SCADA solution is essential to any successfully operating plant.

Last Tuesday 11th, international experts joined GPM’s Green Talk: “Important aspects to consider when selecting a SCADA Solution”.

The discussion was held between Dylan Sontag, Director – Asset Operations and Performance Engineering at Silicon Ranch, Laks M. Sampath, O&M Manager at Q CELLS, Jamie Mordarski, Director O&M America’s at SMA America LLC and moderated by Peter Kobliska, VP of Business Development NA at GreenPowerMonitor, a DNV company.

SCADA systems are commonly deployed in a variety of applications including manufacturing, distribution, transportation, and energy.

In renewables, a SCADA system is frequently deployed to read the meter, send control setpoints to the field devices, and verify the status of the sensors at regular intervals so the least possible human intervention is required.

“SCADA is just as complex as the users and operators who utilize the tool. The SCADA solution is critical to your daily tasks whether you are focused on executing controls, reviewing performance, building financial reports, or interfacing with the ISO and your internal business systems. A proper SCADA solution must satisfy the needs for all of these use cases.” Peter Kobliska, VP of Business Development NA at GreenPowerMonitor, a DNV company.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a SCADA solution:

  • Functionality
  • Reliability
  • Flexibility
  • Security
  • Support

Referring to these five critical aspects when selecting a SCADA will help you discover any potential weaknesses or scope gaps you may encounter. Keep in mind, each site is unique and requires a unique SCADA solution. Even seemingly inconsequential differences between two of your plants can greatly impact how the SCADA system will operate.

However, it’s critical to remember that it is up to you to know and take into account all the important aspects of SCADA systems during your planning stage.

So, to help you with this process, we’ve put together some sample questions to ask yourself in order to feel confident in your SCADA choice:

–       Does this SCADA solution allow me to control the plant as specified by the ISO or interconnect agreement?

–       Where are the main points of failure in this SCADA system? Are the necessary redundancies in place to mitigate failures?

–       Can this SCADA solution support future changes to the plant (adding Cap Banks or ESS for instance)?

–       Is the SCADA compatible with all the other devices and systems in the field?

–       Is the SCADA compatible with your internal business systems?

–       Are there robust security provisions in place? Does it meet NERC/CIP standards?

–       What does the support model look like if you need help in 1 month or 1 year after operations started?

Our solution:

GPM SCADA is a local SCADA management solution used in-plant which allows control over individual devices, can execute full plant commands and provides real time 1-second data for all parameters.

GreenPowerMonitor executes commands for device and plant controls with local GPM SCADA servers. In combination with the GPM Power Plant Controller, GreenPowerMonitor can meet any defined control requirements needed in a renewable energy plant.

Contact our representatives to provide you with a full demo of our solution