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
Increasing use of specialist installation vessels is changing offshore wind farm construction. Despite progress, there still needs to be a far better “techno-economic” solution to ensure the sustainability of the sector, say industry experts.
We look at how the offshore wind sector is taking vital steps in working out relatively shorter construction periods. Toby Edmonds, project director for the Gwynt y Môr Offshore Wind Farm in Liverpool Bay, chats with us about the project and the lessons learned along the way.
Offshore wind specialists are collectively making steady progress and diligently trying to understand the health and safety issues associated with managing the risk of deep water. Wind Energy Update investigates.