I joined the Wind Industry in 2010 and quickly got accustomed to the divisions of a fiercely competitive services after-market. Are you an OEM, ISP or Self-Performer? Are you a hybrid combination of owner and ISP? All claiming to be the best at delivering wind turbine services for improved asset performance and customer value.
I would extol the virtues of the ISP over the OEM, and the values an ISP could deliver that an owner could not. I would focus the owners’ attention on safety, quality, training ...the basics ...then transition to production improvements, lower operational costs and longer asset life. Finally, I would highlight the importance of long term partnerships to extract the full asset value for an owner. All of these points were designed to highlight the distinction of UpWind Solutions services over others.
I still believe in these distinctions, but rather than seeing them as the domain of the ISP, I see them as the attributes of a great service provider. Even before the acquisition of UpWind by Vestas, I grew frustrated with people putting our business and our team in a category because to me it didn’t matter ...what was relevant was ‘what’ we were going to deliver and ‘how’ we were going to deliver it, rather than ‘who’.
Our industry is going through a transition as it matures and critical market dynamics are demanding a new perspective on service. We have an unprecedented PTC window for new developments; the potential for repowering and refurbishment that will create a new sub-market; aging assets that (if not repowered or refurbished) will shift service content and demand; an increasing proportion of post-PTC assets within the installed base; and price compression in both PPA and Merchant markets.
These changes will demand a new way of thinking about service, what I like to think of as the era of the Production Provider, where service is one enabler within a portfolio of skills and solutions that allow owners to extend asset life, deliver more production, lower cost and off-set risk. It will be a technology and data enabled paradigm with shared goals and outcomes.
At Vestas, we’re already delivering production based service contracts with variable fees and production risk positions that go way beyond covering major components. We’re analyzing markets, assessing resource, leveraging terabytes of data, utilizing decades of knowledge in new ways and providing production driven contracts that simplify the world of our customers by aligning completely with their goals. It’s what we call Pure.Performance.
When going through an acquisition and integration you recognize there is a goodbye and a hello. With my team we talk in terms of ‘Honor the Past and Embrace the Future’. This transition mirrors our market, where we say goodbye to old divisions and categories, welcoming in an era of machine learning, augmented reality, data based diagnostics, new technologies and approaches that will push our industry to even better LCOE competitiveness.
So, what sets a service provider apart? When they are more than a service provider or a category, when they are an energy expert and business partner that can deliver greater revenue and profit for their customers over a longer and sustained period of time.