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Wind Energy Update

22 Feb 2012 09:02:32

Wind experts gather to discuss costs for the wind industry

With 6,810 megawatts of wind capacity connected to the U.S. grid in 2011, wind operators will re-evaluate strategies to get the most from their O&M expenditure as well as maximize generation

The energy around the continuation of new Wind Farm projects was recently backed U.S. President Barak Obama who urged Congress to pass clean energy legislation with an extension of the production tax credit (PTC).

Despite a hazy future for the extension of the PTC, states such as Texas, Iowa and California continue to dominate the installed capacity leader board, with ever accumulative figures for new developments. New states such as Ohio, Vermot and Massachusetts also show accelerated growth as they ramp up their efforts to reach the 20% clean energy generation benchmark. Overall, 30 states brought wind projects online in 2011, with construction on-going in 31 states as we entered 2012.

However, regardless of the outcome for the PTC, utilities and independent power producers (IPPs) whose assets already operate in these states will have to closely scrutinize their wind farm aftercare strategies in a constant effort to lower operational expenditure.

Dan Shreve, director and partner at MAKE commented that "an expiration of the PTC will drive an even greater focus on wind services as wind asset owners seek O&M strategies that minimize operational expenditures, lower lost energy production levels and increase project performance though innovative upgrade programs."

Wind Energy Update, organizer of the 4th Annual Wind Energy Operations and Maintenance Summit, were astonished to see over 120 wind experts comprising of utilities, IPPs, developers, manufacturers, contractors, R&D experts, consultants and service providers rush to confirm their attendance at their latest North American event, especially at such an early stage.

E.ON Climate & Renewables, AES Wind Generation, Iberdrola Renewables, Duke Energy, EDP Renewables, Infigen Energy, Edison Mission, TransAlta, Wind Capital Group, Puget Sound Energy, enXco, Outland Energy Services, Run Energy, GE, Acciona, Siemens, Enerco, NERC, Praxis, Hytorc, Foundation Engineering, Complete Wind, GasTops, David Brown, Gearbox Express, and Alltite are just a few of the North American wind industry companies who will meet this April in Dallas to discuss, debate and appraise the latest O&M strategies to reduce costs, optimize efficiency, and improve overall ROI.

Jon Harman, Wind Energy Update's director explained "the industry is in the realms of change. Asset owners are extremely eager to reduce the cost of energy from their wind farms - especially at this time when you consider the uncertain future of the incentives available for new projects. This is why the industry is experiencing the spike we are now seeing in the O&M sector".

The direct focus of the upcoming event will be on how to utilize the latest industry experience, proven technology and O&M strategies to maximize generation and reduce costs in North American wind farms. Topics include:

• O&M markets and trends for 2012 and beyond
• End of warranty options
• Performance optimization
• Retrofit technology, upgrading and repowering
• Advanced monitoring technologies
• Life extension of critical components
• Major part failure and repair
• Grid integration and curtailment

The event promises to deliver wind O&M strategies for wind companies whether they are big or small, or new or established. For more information on this event, speakers, agenda and workshop, contact Jon Harman.

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