FC Business Intelligence reported that as the current uncertainty of the PTC and many wind-farms aging, the wind industry is shifting its focus from putting new towers in the ground to maintaining existing fleets through structured management programs.
Many wind farms emerged in the late 2000s are now coming out of warranty, placing the onus on operators to pay more attention to performance, rather than relying on manufacturers to fix problems. If the industry is to compete with natural gas, nuclear and coal, then considering this shift in focus, the perfection of operation and maintenance [O&M] programs is paramount.
According to the report, high maintenance costs and the lack of proactive maintenance programs are the general consensus that cause concerns. The companies that will be at the forefront of the industry in 2014 are those that can implement structures that focus on reliability, risk and KPI’s.
Greater emphasis on O&M should be good news for service providers, those companies offering condition-monitoring, retrofits and data analysis. IHS Emerging Energy Research sees the service market doubling in size by 2025, from $3 billion now, to $6 billion.
At Wind Energy Update’s Operations & Maintenance Summit, North America’s Wind Industry will gather to discuss these critical challenges and ponder on the latest developments for achieving further cost reduction through more streamlined O&M programs. Topics at the top of the agenda are the reduction of costs in operational maintenance, optimizing production, main component strategy, technologies to reduce failures, retrofitting and asset life extension, data gathering and analysis and strategic solutions for post warranty management.
Already operators from NextEra, Iberdrola, EDPR, E.ON, EDF, Pattern, Noble Power, AES, Infigen, Duke Energy are supporting the event plus Broadwind, Romax, Gamesa, IBM headling have confirmed as sponsors.