A focus on Support Services – interview with Marco Perona, CEO Support Services
by RES | Mar 02, 2022 | Reading time: 4 min
With significant growth in RES Support Services business in recent years and plans to invest heavily across all areas of the business, we spoke with Marco Perona, CEO Support Services about the company’s growth plans and objectives.
Marco Perona has recently taken the helm as RES’ Global Support Services Director. One of three CEOs appointed last Autumn under RES’ new group CEO, Eduardo Medina. Marco joined the company as Business Development Director for the Mediterranean region in 2013 and became Commercial Director for EMEA in 2014. In 2018, he took over responsibility for RES’ Southern Europe and Australian business units. Now in a global role, Marco’s focus is on RES’ Support Services business: asset management and operations & maintenance.
RES, a global leader in the fast-growing renewables sector, plans to invest heavily across all areas of its business. The organisation’s new structure has been designed to facilitate this with a consistent alignment and approach. Marco stated: “We want to increase our clients’ confidence that they are going to receive a consistent and quality service from us regardless of where they are in the world. In particular, having a dedicated Global Support Services team increases our operational performance and enables us to deliver a better service for our customers. Our new structure will enable us to quickly implement innovation, technologies and new services across all our markets.”
“It doesn’t matter where you are – you will get the same outstanding service and resource from RES for your project.”
In 2021, RES celebrated its 40-year anniversary. From a small team of wind energy pioneers in the 1980s working in Sir Robert McAlpine, RES has grown into the world’s largest independent renewable energy company. Marco explained: “RES is in the position where it not only works across the full lifecycle of a project: development, construction, operations and repowering; but it has also been an owner of renewables assets and that gives us a unique view-point.” RES is now active in 11 countries, recently entering the Belgian market to support an existing client with asset management. Marco added “There are not many companies that can offer this. There are so few independent service providers that have a large remit in terms of geographies. RES is one of the few actors that is able to provide this type of service on both a portfolio basis and across multiple markets.”
With an impressive development portfolio, and responsible for delivering 22GW of wind, solar and energy storage projects globally, RES is often seen as first in class in terms of its development and construction ability. Marco commented: “The vision for me is to “become top of mind” in the service space, that is to say when someone thinks about a Support Service provider they think of RES and recognise us as a one stop shop for operating assets. We are already coming from an established position, providing support for 9GW of operational assets. It is now about growing this further.”
Last year RES refurbished its 24/7/365 Control Centre in Glasgow, which now manages over 200 renewable energy assets and storage projects worldwide. In 2021, RES won accolades for its Support Services approach with the team winning a Wind Investment Asset Management Award and Solar & Storage Operations & Management Award. Earlier this year, RES acquired Blueshore – its third acquisition in the asset management sector. Marco stated: “Our bread and butter is asset management and O&M, but at the same time we can and do provide other services, for example, advising customers on route to market, PPAs strategies, as well as providing owners engineer and due diligence services.” RES has an impressive array of services, with a focus on exploiting technology, innovation and its technical expertise to increase operational performance. At the heart of this is optimisation, and an independent study by DNV has shown that assets managed by RES perform 1% better than industry standard.
“RES has always invested time and money into R&D related to renewables and new technologies. We will continue to focus on that.”
As pioneer of the renewables industry, innovation remains at the core of RES and a focal point for investment. Marco highlighted: “We keep on working on our technology road map, continuous scouting on what we have, what is available in the market and where we need to be.” RES has been focused on providing easier access to information and usability of data through its new platform. An easy interface to enable customers to monitor and manage assets. Marco added: “We have been developing the platform for the last 12 months and already have customers using it across their portfolios.” Another area of innovation for RES has been wake steering. Marco explained: “By tweaking the orientation of wind turbines across a wind farm, we can optimise the output, reduce fatigue and extend machine life. This is quite a deep engineering study with tangible advantages for customers.” Cybersecurity remains top of the agenda at RES and it is becoming increasingly more important for operational renewable assets. “We’ve now created an operational technology team, responsible for technology on operational assets and cybersecurity. It is a service that we provide to ourselves and for our clients and can most likely become a new revenue stream.” added Marco.
For the renewables industry, continued growth at a pace never seen before is expected over the coming decade. Innovation to create operational efficiencies and maximise renewable generation will be key. RES’ ability to exploit technology trends has been key to its success over the last 40 years, but what are the current areas of focus? Macro reflected: “Industry 4.0 and AI will form a greater role in how we operate renewable generation, and this is something that we are taking a closer look at to see how we can embed it into our service provision.”
Find out more about how RES can support you with your assets – https://bit.ly/3vAbuRg