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.
Portugal’s Iberwind has increased the availability of its wind farms by around 4% since 2007 and expects further performance improvements following trailblazing tests on yaw alignment and blade aerodynamics, Rui Maia, Iberwind’s Operation and Maintenance Manager, said.
Firms in markets offering low incentives for repowering have developed cost efficient maintenance which can expand lifespans by as much as ten years and improve condition monitoring systems to maximize profits.
The UK Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult center is in talks with a number of firms to join its $1.5 million (GBP1 million) project aimed at reducing the impact of turbine blade erosion and cutting electricity output costs, Andy Kay, ORE’s engineering lead for the program, said.
Midwest utility Alliant Energy has lowered Operations and Maintenance costs by using preventive maintenance and a hybrid service model that leverages internal turbine expertise and third party service providers, Michelle Arenson, Regional Director of Wind Generation and Operations at Alliant Energy told Wind Energy Update.
Orders for Aairteam’s remote inspection products have exploded since the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) eased legislation on commercial drone use earlier this year, Grant Leaverton, General Manager of the company told Wind Energy Update.
Leading wind data analysts Sciemus Wind will join RWE Innogy, a major European utility in innovative data-centric asset management, in a free webinar on July 28 at 14:00 BST (13:00 UTC) where they will provide insights on how to intelligently inform the day-to-day management of a utility’s onshore assets in the field by effectively using Big Data.
An investment of only Eur10,000 ($11,100) in data-driven preventive maintenance systems can help prevent the failure of crucial components such as the gearbox, which can cost Eur300,000 to replace, Mario Giagnotti, O&M Manager at BKW Italia, told Wind Energy Update.
Wind O&M prices have fallen by an estimated 20-30% in the last five years on increased competition and providers must develop innovative offerings as operators seek further savings, Peter Wells CEO of Upwind Solutions, an Independent Service Provider, said.