When selecting a service provider for your wind energy assets, you have tremendous choice. From the Original Equipment Manufacturer, to an Independent Service Provider, or the increasing number of owner operators offering pseudo independent services. There are certain fundamentals for great service that apply to all and these should be understood in depth in order to fully understand what you will and what you won’t be getting from a service provider.
Traditionally, original equipment manufacturer (OEM) focus has been on designing turbines that will last 20 years, perform reliably and produce as the nameplate describes. As turbine reliability increases, maintenance costs and downtime should decrease. However, significant unknowns remain for the turbine life cycle. This means OEMs, owners and independent service providers (ISPs) alike are all watching the installed base closely to learn how to offer better planned and unplanned maintenance solutions. To do so, they rely heavily on data and service innovation for improved production, lower operating expense and extended project life.
A veteran of General Electric (GE), UpWind Solutions’ CEO Peter Wells understands the power of operational excellence. That’s why he asked his team to set regular strategic and operational goals and capture them in PowerPoint. Yet he quickly discovered employees had difficulty connecting goals across organizations and regularly evaluating them to see what adjustments should be made. All of that is changing with BetterWorks. Wells and everyone on the UpWind team now use the BetterWorks enterprise goals platform to see, measure and track goals, and leaders are using that increased insight to set all employees up for greater success.
UpWind Solutions was honored to be selected as one of the companies that Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz visited at WINDPOWER 2015 in order to display our latest developments in wind farm O&M Excellence.
"We are counting on you being a huge part of the solution," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Ernest Moniz regarding wind energy to the audience at the opening ceremony of WINDPOWER 2015. This was a historic year for the conference as it was the first time in 15 years that the Secretary of Energy has made an appearance, shown support and a renewed commitment to wind energy.
At the 7th Annual Wind Energy Operations & Maintenance Summit in Dallas, TX last week, UpWind Solutions was nominated for and awarded the “Best Example of O&M Excellence” 2015. Wind Energy Update identified 6 categories for their inaugural O&M Excellence awards and we were thrilled to be recognized as a finalist, and then honored to win the ‘Excellence’ category. There are three reasons that this award means so much to me. First, O&M Excellence is a foundational initiative for UpWind, it runs through everything we do. Second, any recognition feels good because it validates what you are doing but peer recognition and votes mean even more. Third, being part of these important awards in a maturing industry, supporting them and representing the industry in the best way we can is a philosophical commitment of ours.
The question of what a project life cycle looks like seems relatively easy to answer, often being broken down into four phases; development, warranty, post-warranty and end-of-life. The more interesting question around the life cycle is when should Operations & Maintenance (O&M) start? The easy answer is …at the beginning. From project inception through to end of life, O&M strategy and execution must be considered, developed, tested, refined, and continuously improved.
Finalists for the 2015 Wind Energy Update O&M Excellence Awards Announced
The official shortlist for the upcoming Wind Energy Update (WEU) O&M Excellence Awards, sponsored by E.ON and Danish Wind Power Academy Americas (DWPAA), has now been released; the winner of each category will be announced on-site at the upcoming Wind Energy O&M Summit USA, Dallas on Tuesday 14th April.