As the wind industry in Europe has grown, so has the number of companies looking to capitalise on the aftercare market, especially as the number of new onshore wind turbine developments has slowed. While wind turbine manufacturers (OEMs) remain the dominant players in this field, independent service providers (ISPs) and other third party specialist have started to take a share of this business as wind turbine warranty agreements approach their expiry dates.
Already, as we enter 2013, Europe has grown to over 100 GW of operational wind power with a significant proportion of turbines in that bracket close to the expiry date their warranty agreements. Globally speaking, this number is set to increase to over 100,000MW of wind turbines due to come out of warranty by 2020. According to Wind Energy Update's "Retrofitting, Reliability & Repowering" report this approximate sum covers wind farms in the UK, US, Germany, Denmark, China and India with turbines between 8 and 20 years of age.
These turbines will require both a rigorous end-of-warranty inspection and then an on-going O&M aftercare strategy going forward. Wind farm operators are therefore faced with a new challenge – to ensure the reliability of their operations post warranty, to maximise energy efficiency and reduce service costs to an acceptable level.
Put simply, there are three aftercare options available: re-entering warranty with the OEM, to take O&M in house (self-operate), or contract the work out to an independent service provider (ISP).
Critical emphasis is therefore now on:
• The right O&M aftercare strategy given the amount of choice available
• End of warranty inspections: how to exit warranty having covered ALL angles
• Those pioneering in terms of turbine maintenance, and how they are doing it
• Technology systems that are justified in cost and cost effectively implementable
International wind energy operators will meet at the 5th Annual Wind O&M Forum in Hamburg next month (February 18-20) to develop a coherent and effective management strategy to optimise O&M, achieve higher availability and reduce unnecessary downtime & OPEX spend. This industry-led event will cover all key areas as raised by over 100 utility & IPP employees.
5th Annual Wind O&M Forum will bring together 14 key international operator speakers, and attendees from other Power Producers, OEMs, service providers, component suppliers, and other key industry experts to deliver not only their successes in O&M, but also their stumbling blocks, to equip others with the knowledge required to take their businesses to the next level.
Jon Harman, director at Wind Energy Update says: "This conference will prepare wind energy professionals – and those looking to move into the industry – with previously unheard facts, figures, strategies and data than you can be implemented immediately for not just the coming months, but also coming years."
For more on the agenda, people attending and the venue, visit the website: http://www.windenergyupdate.com/operations-maintenance/
Wind Energy Update
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