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
2015’s official Wind Energy Forecast for the South African market was released today detailing the key market trends in 2015 for wind energy in the country. Leading experts from Vestas, Siemens, Barclays, and Green Cape discussed key questions facing this year’s wind energy market.
Eirik Byklum, Statoil, has commented that: "developers have learnt the hard way that poor conditions on the sea bed can have a very negative impact – they are much more aware of this and its cost implications"
Offshore wind O&M initiative entails a diverse range of activities, and the industry acknowledges a need to look at everything minutely. It is even suggested that a long term operations and maintenance strategy should start at the time of a project’s pro-forma stage.