Larger, higher efficiency turbines and the “clustering” of project resources are driving down offshore wind maintenance costs as they become increasingly important in project valuations, Tom Harries, Wind Energy Analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), said.
Major operators are investing in repowering programs to profit from technology improvements ahead of tax credit deadlines and some firms are looking to repower after just 10 years of operations, industry experts said.
The 4 GW Plains and Eastern line from Oklahoma to Tennessee is set to unlock $7 billion of wind power investments and has received 22 GW of demand from generators and industrial consumers such as Kellogg’s, General Motors and Unilever, project developer Clean Line Energy Partners told Wind Energy Update.
The German utility has deployed a range of “Hands-on” supplier-operator partnerships to improve windfarm operations and greater knowledge-sharing between partners will generate further savings, Roland Flaig, Head of Wind Operations- Onshore Europe, at E.ON Climate & Renewables, said.
New data has revealed the impact of leading-edge erosion on energy production and advanced protection packages now offer long term performance gains and optimized maintenance windows, industry experts said.
Original Equipment Manufacturers are fending off competition in wind power operations and maintenance through a combination of longer service agreements, tailored offerings and takeovers of independent service providers, experts told Wind Energy Update.
Europe's wind operators are turning to market-responsive contracts and data analytics to maximize wholesale market gains and cut costs as feed in tariffs give way to competitive project tenders, experts told Wind Energy Update.
A data-led performance optimization plan can boost average wind generation by between 3% and 8% and some sites can achieve further gains through forestry restructuring, Aaron Culver, Measurement & Analysis Team Leader at renewable energy consultancy SgurrEnergy, said.
TransAlta, Canada's largest wind operator, estimates condition monitoring systems (CMS) have increased its Annual Energy Production (AEP) by 2.5% and the company is piloting a down-tower repair study which could further improve the business case for CMS, Tracy Duncan, Lead Reliability Engineer at TransAlta, said at the Wind O&M Canada 2016 conference.
Expiring tariffs are set to boost repowering demand but new auction rules will require developers to optimize full-life costs and navigate power network priorities to maximize gains, industry sources told Wind Energy Update.
About 15-20% of the wind energy projects installed in the United States since 2000 could be repowered to capture federal tax after the extension of the production tax credit (PTC), said Kevin Smith, director, Asset Management & Operating Services at the Renewables Advisory within DNV GL – Energy.
Cold climate and de-icing technologies are improving the business case for wind power in Canada, but icing prediction and assessment remain problematic for the industry, experts told Wind Energy Update.