Biggest Challenges in Onshore Wind Operations & Maintenance
Ahead of the upcoming 2nd Annual Onshore Wind Asset Management virtual conference, we asked our speaker panel about the biggest challenges they face this year when it comes to managing assets, and ensuring reliability. Here is what they had to say:
Pedro Miguel Ribeirinho Machado da Mota Alves, Transversal Activities Manager, EDP Renewables
Regarding that subject, the biggest challenge will be the economic crisis that we will face. A lot of companies will close in December and it will create a snowball effect that will hit all sectors. Major companies will try to reduce costs and that means that we could expect a decrease in quality service, but the customer will pay the same or more, and smaller companies will face problems due to short materials supply and liquidity issues.
Amaury Neto, Asset Director, Voltalia, Brasil
The COVID effects and the commodities rally, which resulted in multiple short-term challenges, especially in markets where the supply chain is exposed to FX variation such as the Brazilian. In addition, business modelling has become more complex with increasing flexibility requirements for new contracts.
Joost Sterenborg, Wind Turbine Expert, Eneco, The Netherlands
Value-based asset management becomes even more important since the return on investment levels are dropping. An integral approach, with asset health as the key element, enables further optimization of the asset value. Understanding the asset health requires regular and holistic evaluations of the asset condition, overall performance and life cycle state, which are not all part of the standard routines yet.
Robert Sills, Asset Integrity Engineer, SSE, United Kingdom
The previous year has resulted in numerous new challenges to the way in which onshore wind assets are serviced and maintained. While the restrictions on travel and limitations placed on-site service teams has been a major challenge; it has also presented an opportunity to speed up the development and deployment of remote monitoring and inspection technology as well as the use of data to prioritise which activities are required to be completed on-site.
Nicolas Ribaud, Methods, Performance & Optimisation Manager, O&M department, RES, France
One of the biggest challenges for onshore wind farms is ensuring that the turbines are operating in the most efficient way possible, whilst maintaining a high level of safety. Recently, this has become more challenging as many wind farms are surpassing their first 10 years of operation and beginning to face major mechanical issues.
Reliability and performance monitoring reduce downtimes by using proactive actions to avoid failure. This helps to reduce pressures on the critical supply chain – as urgent repair actions are avoided. Moreover, technologies have rapidly evolved in the market and most of the oldest wind farms can benefit from optimization and improvement upgrades, helping to decrease the global OPEX for Owners.
Join us online in benchmarking best practices in preventing downtime of wind assets and using advanced technology for efficient operations. The 2nd Annual Onshore Wind Asset Management conference is happening on September 14-15, 2021.