Sustainability is a key concern for global organizations, and Casa dos Ventos, one of the largest suppliers of wind energy in Brazil, makes sustainability part of its mission: promoting the “environmentally responsible development” of Brazil.
In Brazil, wind is the second-largest source of power in the country’s energy matrix, according to the Brazilian Wind Power Association (ABEEolica). Since its founding in 2007, Casa dos Ventos has been on a path of steady growth—the company now represents about 30% of all wind farms in operation or under construction in Brazil. Combined, these projects will generate approximately 10% of all energy produced in that country.
But growth on this scale generates more than energy: It produces vast amounts of data that needs to be processed and analyzed consistently to study wind behavior, control turbines, and forecast power production and climate, to name just a few examples. These tasks are mission-critical to ensure the efficient operation of Casa dos Ventos’ wind farms.
With the company’s continued expansion, it became clear that its on-premises infrastructure no longer had the capacity to process, orchestrate, and analyze such massive amounts of data. Instead of helping to solve business issues, the IT team was spending much of its time maintaining servers and managing databases and systems. According to Roberto Oikawa, CIO of Casa dos Ventos, it was taking 15 days to calculate the amount of energy generated by just one wind farm using in-house servers.
An urgent need to streamline data
To keep pace with its growing number of projects, the company needed a solution that would centralize its workflows while providing scalability and flexibility. “We needed a platform capable of loading tons of data, with streamlined support for resources used to process this data,” Oikawa says, “and allowing us to create prediction models and run machine learning processes quickly and reliably.” After 12 years in business, the company realized it was clearly time to move its data operations to the cloud.
Casa dos Ventos had already been using Google Workspace for collaboration and communication, and had adopted SAP as a business-management solution. These were decisive factors in selecting Google Cloud to host its SAP S/4HANA environment.
“We opted for Google Cloud because we were seeking a strategic, long-term partnership,” says Oikawa. “This isn’t just service delivery. Google Cloud brings its solid knowledge about SAP, which gave us peace of mind for decision-making.” The team ultimately decided on a hybrid environment with a cloud-first strategy that includes using physical servers for simpler, less time-sensitive tasks.
More time to focus on business growth
Over a 12-month period, the company migrated 90% of its processing workloads and fully implemented SAP S/4HANA on Google Cloud. When the migration was complete, data-processing operations became more agile, allowing the company’s IT team to dramatically reduce the time they needed to process and analyze data as well as to respond to customers and regulatory authorities. The time needed to predict the amount of energy generated by a specific project went from 15 days to just one day. Thanks to the new cloud infrastructure and scalable services, the company was also able to process 20 years of data in less than two hours during its weekly data processes.
In addition, the company has been able to optimize wind-farm operations using Google Cloud solutions, including AI Platform, and BigQuery for assessing costs for each project. These changes mean that Casa dos Ventos’ IT staff can spend more time working with engineering teams on high-value business issues and less time dealing with infrastructure problems.
Looking ahead, Casa dos Ventos is on track to generate 1.5GW in wind power over the next year or two, an achievement that is being supported by the company’s transformation to cloud technology. “When looking at the business side, Google Cloud improved our results in terms of timing, reliability, and innovation,” Oikawa says, “Our new Energy Trading unit was conceived as a digital unit from its inception.” Lucas Araripe, Casa dos Ventos’ head of projects and new business, says that innovation, in fact, is the main purpose of his company’s work: “We always want to be ahead of others in terms of knowledge, innovation, and technology. Our partnership with Google Cloud is part of that.”