The offshore wind industry has paid little attention to outage time. This claim is made by MAKE Consulting in a recently released report about offshore wind O&M in Northern Europe.
The report describes that turbines are becoming larger, with the current average of 3.9 MW expected to increase to 5.9 MW by 2020. But this means that losses associated with downtime will become even more costly, particularly from failure of major components. As a result, service providers are forced to implement strategies to reduce downtime from major component failures. Continue reading
The Crown Estate has recently released its report focusing on how jack-up vessels can help bring down costs in the maintenance of offshore wind turbines.
The report, ‘Jack-up vessel optimisation’, studies the significant potential in cost reduction through sharing arrangements and closer cooperation between windfarm owners.
The report can be downloaded from Crown Estate’s website.
It points to evidence of significant production downtime due to maintenance planning and implementation and claims that revenues could be increased by as much as GBP 110 million across currently operational windfarms in the UK.
Even though the report is based on the UK offshore wind market, it is valuable reading for the industry as a whole, particularly within a wider European perspective.
I was very interested to see the three specific recommendations for progressing the concept of a ‘flexible charter club’.
This report also sheds new light on some of the findings in an O&M report commissioned by this site, Offshore Wind O&M, in particular related to the sometimes insurmountable costs of emergency repairs to single wind turbines.
Operations and maintenance in offshore wind is still an underdeveloped market and this report makes a welcome contribution to improving the market’s understanding of the key issues. This is something I have spoken about before and I’m pleased to see the increasing focus on the issue.
As long as politicians delay long-term plans within sustainable energy and threaten to reopen the energy discussions at a political level, it’ll be impossible to reduce offshore wind energy prices. The offshore wind and energy sector as a whole has a high-risk profile. Financing isn’t easy to come by, and certainly not if there is concern over the political framework. Continue reading
Reducing costs of operation is critical to the long-term future of offshore wind energy. We need to see more cooperation between utilities, turbine manufacturers and vessel operators in optimising contracts, resources and standards across the industry if we are to see the efficiencies the industry demands.
A recent report on the offshore wind industry commissioned by OffshoreWindOM.com highlights the significant cost savings available. Digging deeper into the research behind the report, there are several important factors that will help drive the industry to the next level. Continue reading
Get it right the first time and save a lot of time and money. The right and proper contract for a wind farm is the roadmap to a solid business case. This calls for knowledge, insight, understanding and, importantly, dialogue on both sides of the negotiation table from utilities and developers.
Today’s wind projects cannot rely on a standard contract from the wind turbine manufacturer. The costs of capex and opex are so high that there has to be a robust contract that secures an investment that should stretch beyond 20 years. Continue reading
To reduce the costs of wind energy generated by offshore wind parks, there needs to be a greater degree of ‘certainty’ in the offshore wind industry. What I mean by this is a commitment to contracts and agreements that allow the necessary investments throughout the supply chain.
A lack of certainty makes it difficult to reach the cost reduction goals that everyone in the industry is looking for. Continue reading
Long-term commitment is needed in order to reduce operations and maintenance costs in the offshore wind industry. This sort of commitment provides the certainty that allows suppliers to the offshore wind industry offer the best possible rates and terms. Continue reading
In 2003, Dong Energy operated 200MW of wind projects offshore. Ten years on, its operating capacity has grown tenfold. The utility is now using its experience to develop maintenance processes that are setting the standard for the current round of projects.
The offshore wind industry is a paradox. Like the bumblebee flying, it should not work, but it does, says Lars Thanning Pedersen, head of asset management and markets in wind power at Danish utility Dong Energy. “If you saw a list of everything that could go wrong, you wouldn’t have started. But you solve problems as you go along, and we are now at the point where we can say that we can achieve a reliability of production that is close to onshore, albeit at a higher cost,” he says. Continue reading
We are now at a time when the offshore wind industry needs to change. More than ten years after the first large-scale wind farm was commissioned, the industry has an important role to play in reducing the costs of wind energy.