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
South Africa has grown its wind energy generating capacity by 560MW for 2014 (GWEC). With a physically and financially constrained grid, getting more wind power online remains a challenge for the foreseeable future. But when there is a will, there is a way, according to some experts on the ground.
The $1.5bn O&M segment in the United States will see its market value reach new highs in 2015 as Independent Service Providers (ISP) and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) spur a new wave of disruptive technology and global ISP consolidation in 2015.
Original Equipment Manufacturers’(OEM) will increasingly securing US customers within their after-sales business - the primary cash cow - with performance upgrade products and warranty extensions in 2015.