Growing wholesale market exposure and rising flexibility requirements have led some wind operators to develop profit-sharing operations and maintenance (O&M) arrangements which maximize market revenues.
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.
Using drones that follow automated flight paths without the need for a human pilot could allow wind farm project teams to inspect up to twice as many turbines in a day as they can today, experts told Wind Energy Update.
Emerging oil filtration techniques could minimize pad-mount transformer faults and reduce one of the biggest sources of wind farm balance-of-plant (BoP) maintenance, Judah Moseson, vice president of operations at service provider Cooke Power Services, told Wind Energy Update.
Improving wind turbine reliability to 99.5% will require new data analysis approaches across the industry as existing techniques won’t allow the sector to go above current reliability levels, according to Carsten Westergaard, senior advisor, Wind and Water at the Sandia National Laboratories and Professor of Practice at Texas Tech University.
Switching to self-performance of wind farm operations and maintenance (O&M) at end of warranty can cut costs by between 25% and 35% and allow operators to make more design improvements to increase unit reliability, Jeff Wehner, VP Renewable Operations, Duke Energy, said.