Reducing Costs During Offshore Wind Farm O&M
Since the early 2000s there has been a primary focus on the development and construction phases within the offshore wind industry. Now, with increasing numbers of wind turbines being commissioned, there has been a shift towards an almost independent Operations and Maintenance (O&M) process due to the logistical challenges and costs associated with not only building, but maintaining offshore wind farms.
What are the Financial Risks Associated with O&M?
Once a wind turbine is operational there are a number of challenges that can affect the financial performance of the project. If you do not get on top of operations and maintenance there can be a significant reduction in revenue due to downtime. The obvious problem relates to the reduction in electricity production, but you also have to add the cost of carrying out any required repairs. If conditions are too unsafe to carry out repairs it can cause downtime of hours, or even days.
With each offshore wind farm there are different factors that make it difficult to accurately predict costs. This can be down to the number and the size of the wind turbines in place, the exact location in terms of distance from the shore and the specific environment, as well as water depth and sea conditions.
Managing Vessels and Personnel
On any given day there are countless vessels and personnel traveling to and from an offshore wind farm. The management of this transport is crucial to the effectiveness and smooth running of operations and maintenance. Monitoring the location of personnel and vessels will not only save time in an emergency but will also provide crucial data in the case of any legal claims regarding an incident.