With more than 60 gigawatts of wind power operating across North America, plant owners are now facing operation & maintenance (O&M) from the perspective of both a project’s daily productivity as well as its life cycle. How owners manage challenges will have a significant impact on a projects’ life and economics.
One particular session at the WINDPOWER 2014 Conference & Exhibition, “Long-Term Ownership: Key Challenges and What to Expect,” will not shy away from the tough issues. Just some of the topics to be covered include:
- turbine reliability;
- outsourcing O&M vs. keeping it in-house;
- contracting strategies;
- end-of-warranty preparation; and
- financing and partnership relationships.
Addressing those issues will be a healthy mix of stakeholders including J.P. Morgan’s Eric White, Pattern Energy’s Chris Shugart, Intertek’s Ron Henderson, and Invenergy’s Jamie Rafferty.
“The session really comes at an interesting time for the O&M and ownership segment of the industry, which now has a lot of megawatts in the ground,” said session moderator Brian Hayes, executive vice president for asset operations at EDP Renewables. “I’m very excited to hear from owners that have been active in this area for some time, so that we can hear how they’ve successfully navigated through various challenges and made their projects more successful.”
Of course, developers won’t be the only stakeholders to be sharing their insights and opinions. Among those most interested in a project’s performance is the investment community. J.P. Morgan is one of the leading financial institutions to be associated with wind energy through the years, and so White’s participation will provide a key perspective that virtually all segments of the industry need to understand.
“Including a representative from the financial community promises to be particularly interesting,” said Hayes. “For instance, we’ll be discussing how projects have performed compared to their expectations, and discussing the areas that give them concern going forward. We’ll be including a look from the financier perspective.”
“Long-Term Ownership” takes place at WINDPOWER on Wednesday, May 7, at 2 pm.
Overall, says Hayes, get ready for a discussion on a most timely topic. The wind industry is never stagnant, and now O&M appears to be entering a new era, one that’s indicative of a mainstream and maturing industry. “It’s going to be an open dialogue among all our experts, and even the attendees,” said Hayes. “It should all make for a compelling 90 minutes.”
WINDPOWER 2014, the U.S. industry’s premier annual gathering, happens May 5-8 in Las Vegas. For more information, go to http://windpowerexpo.org/.