For five years wind operations managers cited reliability, availability and WTG capacity as the main figures they worked off and were held accountable for.
As world energy needs come to the forefront of political and consumer discussion once again it appears the only criteria that matters to wind operators is generated power.
The critical driver in wind is improving operational efficiency and never has the need for complete transparency been more imperative. The decisions over whether to buy and install condition monitoring equipment at €20,000 per unit, use an in house O&M model or outsource to specialists and whether to rely on general statistics on component failure or undertake your own investigation have become a daily struggle for the operators who oversee hundreds of turbines.
Driving down costs in the wind industry is now a government project for offshore wind the UK, but wider afield in Europe and in the much larger and more established onshore market there is demand for cost reduction but no clear directive driving it.
Twelve of Europe’s best known wind operators that handle over 65% of all of European wind generation capacity are meeting this January to tackle this challenge head on. Dong, Vattenfall, Statoil, Mainstream RP, GDF Suez, EnBW, EWE, Eneco, SSE, PacificHydro and NoordzeeWind will join for two days of discussion on not only cost reduction but also O&M strategy, asset optimisation and offshore specific O&M in Hamburg.
Wind Energy Update
While floating offshore wind is a nascent technology, comprising just the first demonstration projects, it could be that large scale floating turbine arrays become the norm in the future, as a natural development of the offshore wind industry.
When it comes to keeping wind turbines operating smoothly in icy conditions, there are several approaches being considered and tried, from the highly technical to the old school ‘shiver’ technique.