Milestone software secures renewable energy production; incidents reduced by 96 percent
Losses and damages to TerniEnergia’s photovoltaic power stations has reduced by 96 percent after a Milestone-based VMS solution was implemented. These very large production facilities are nearly impossible to secure by traditional means, but with Milestone XProtect uninterrupted power services are ensured and TerniEnergia can expand the solution as needed.
The Challenge: TerniEnergia experienced several thefts at their photovoltaic power stations. These installations that can span many square kilometres, are very difficult to protect using guards or passive security. Without an efficient surveillance system thieves could enter the large and remotely located production facilities unseen. TerniEnergia experienced quite a bit of damage due to the thefts. Thieves would for example cut energy cables or steal solar panels which led to increased expenses for TerniEnergia who had to restore the property and pay penalties due to electrical service interruptions. A better solution was needed in order to protect the power stations and ensure a stable energy production.
The Solution: iGreenPatrol, a private security institute owned by Terni Energia, installed Milestone XProtect® Corporate to manage 290 Sony cameras. All power stations are monitored from a central monitoring station where XProtect® Smart Wall shows all the stations at once on a 50’’ video wall, giving the operators a full overview of the huge facilities. An anti-intrusion alarm system, TechnoAware video-analysis software, an energy cables protection system and a photovoltaic panel protection system have been integrated into Milestone XProtect Corporate. These integrations are made possible by the open platform technology that XProtect is based on.
The Advantages: The number of thefts and damages to the photovoltaic power stations has reduced by 96 percent compared to previous years. The result is a stable and reliable energy production saving TerniEnergia from costs associated with fallout in the production. All the integrated systems are connected to the XProtect Smart Client interface that reports all alarms on a map. This helps the operators to quickly read a situation and make a decision in case of an incident and call local police if necessary. The open platform ensures that the system will be able to cover both current and future needs because it can easily be scaled and integrated into third-party systems. The Milestone solution is also used to monitor that safety procedures are being followed to prevent any accidents from happening.
TerniEnergia is an Italian energy company that works in the field of waste management, energy efficiency and renewable energy. Among other things they produce energy from natural gas, solar energy and biomass.
TerniEnergia also owns iGreenPatrol, a private security institute, that with Milestone XProtect software installed at their central command center manages the security of more than 120 photovoltaic power stations 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
Thefts and damages reduced by 96 percent
TerniEnergia has many photovoltaic power stations in various parts of the world and the number keeps growing. While the stations are located in remote areas, valuable material is located onsite, especially during construction. The power stations cover a huge area, making it almost impossible to keep a full overview with the help of patrolling security officers alone.
Thieves can easily go unnoticed by for example hiding under the large solar panels.
TerniEnergia needed a solution to efficiently protect their photovoltaic power stations from damage and theft. Damage to the power stations results in increased expenses from having to restore the property, in addition to the penalties received due to electrical service interruptions. Thus, constant monitoring of the power stations are necessary.
TerniEnergia needed a cost-efficient centralised solution where all power stations can be monitored at once. Moreover, the solution needed to be scalable to accommodate the increasing demand for renewable energy. TerniEnergia’s previous system did not allow for centralisation and could not easily be scaled. The new system, Milestone XProtect® Corporate video management system, was installed to monitor all photovoltaic production facilities. The security of the power stations has now become streamlined saving both time and money for TerniEnergia. XProtect is built on Milestone’s open platform technology which ensures that the system can easily be scaled up or down according to needs and budget. The customer has the option to pick and choose from a wide variety of cameras and to integrate with third party systems, such as alarms, allowing customisation to a solution that addresses all the customer’s needs. A photovoltaic panel protection system, an energy cable protection system, anti-intrusion alarm and TechnoAware video-analysis software have been fully integrated into Milestone XProtect Corporate, ensuring one unified system that with its functionalities helps the operators make informed decisions within seconds. Because of the open platform technology the system will be able to cover both current and future needs.
“Our Milestone solution showed its worth a few days after the project was finalised when there was an attempted theft at one of Ternia Energia’s photovoltaic power stations. The operators at our monitoring station were alerted immediately by the system and contacted the local police who arrested the thief who was in the middle of cutting energy cables. Without the Milestone solution I am not sure we would have caught the thief and especially not in the middle of the misdeed,” says Giuseppe Briotti, Security Administrator at iGreenPatrol.
During the first year in operation with Milestone XProtect 25 attempted thefts and damages to the power stations were avoided. As a result, the number of thefts and damage done to TerniEnergia’s photovoltaic power stations reduced by 96 percent compared to previous years, creating considerable ROI for the installation. The previous high number of thefts and damages to the plants created long recovery times which resulted in loss of energy production, and thus, loss of income. Especially, because most of the incidents happened during the summer – the time of year with the biggest potential energy production. With the video management system in place TerniaEnergia has ensured continuity and stability in their operations.
Centralised system for optimal security
The Milestone IP Video system is centralised so the operators can monitor all sites from a central monitoring station which reduces cost and enhances the security level.
All the integrated alarm systems are connected to the XProtect Smart Client interface that reports all alarms on a map. These alarms will alert the operator if there are any security breaches at the plants making sure local police can be sent to the site immediately. Thereby, the centralised system ensures maximum security without having to employ extra security officers at the local sites. The operators at the central monitoring stations have a comprehensive overview of all sites thanks to XProtect Smart Wall which is an advanced video wall that displays footage and data from all sites. The centralised system makes sure that all of Terni Energia’s power stations can be monitored simultaneously and that the operators get timely information in case of any unwanted incidents or malfunctions. In addition to delivering advanced centralised security, the Milestone solution is also used to monitor that safety procedures are being followed to prevent any accidents from happening. If any accidents do occur, the security officer can rewind the footage to establish why, how, who and when to prevent it from happening again.
Because of the intuitive interface operators quickly learn how to manage the system: “Milestone XProtect is easy to use for everyone. You don’t even have to be very IT-skilled. A few days training was all that was needed for our operators,” says Giuseppe Briotti and continues,
“It’s a huge advantage, also when considering turnover in the staff. Whenever a new employee joins it won’t take long before they know the system.”