There are many challenges wind-farm developers face before a turbine ever produces its first kilowatt. Industry stakeholders need to optimize wind-turbine energy production while ensuring wind-power projects are safe, economical, sustainable, efficient, and reliable. This means improving technology, while reducing the costs of wind farms, as well as accelerating and facilitating the permitting process.
To that end, it’s important that owner-operators have a partner in their corner to ensure projects run safely and efficiently while maintaining quality control and compliance.
Backed by 200 years of experience, Bureau Veritas North America is helping accelerate the energy transition with a range of solutions that tackle the challenges of wind-project development and operations.
The organization supports both onshore and offshore wind projects, leveraging dedicated solutions for blades, gearboxes, generators, towers, and foundations for both. With about 80,000 employees and more than $5 billion in revenue across 140 countries, Bureau Veritas is a leading global testing, inspection, and certification (TIC) company. Between onshore and offshore wind, Bureau Veritas has worked on 2,100-plus projects and installed 165-plus GW, with services across construction management, project management, owners engineering, and technical advisory.
“We serve as the eyes and ears for quality and safety for our clients,” said Brendan Andrews, Vice President Sales, Energy and Renewables, for Bureau Veritas North America. “We support projects from pre-construction all the way through commissioning.”
Bureau Veritas serves as an advisory company for its clients, according to Andrews.
“Our services support the construction of projects and more importantly, assess and maintain safety and quality,” he said. “We provide quality assurance and quality control (QA/QC) to ensure suppliers are meeting our client’s expectations. We audit factories and check the quality of components on behalf of our clients. We also offer traceability services, which trace components from the raw materials to better understand where they come from.”
Traceability becomes extremely crucial when dealing with global economies as it relates to regulations and ESG commitments, according to Andrews.
“With people across 140 countries, our team has the boots on the ground to perform traceability services,” he said.
Power and Energy Division
“Our power and energy division provides expertise across the renewable energy industry, from onshore and offshore wind, solar, battery-energy storage and to transmission and distribution,” Andrews said.
Today’s growing offshore and onshore wind industries must accelerate development to meet increasing renewable energy targets. To fulfill 2050 net zero targets for the power sector, wind generation must increase by 18 percent a year until 2030, according to Andrews.
To help bolster the wind industry, the U.S. has introduced fiscal incentives including the renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) which provides up to 2.6 cents/kWh for electricity generated from wind.
Hydrogen has become a key part of the energy transition, according to Andrews. Using wind power to produce hydrogen means renewable energy is used to run the electrolyzers that create the hydrogen, which Andrews believes will help grow the industry.
“I believe green hydrogen’s connection with wind will help push the industry forward,” he said. “Over the past few years, wind has taken a backseat to solar, however, the shift toward wind projects is happening.”
The production of green hydrogen is going to be important, not just to established industrial areas in North America, but also in developing countries around the world.
Bringing in the Right People
As the wind industry has evolved, it has become even more important to Andrews and his team that Bureau Veritas continues to hire and train the right people.
“We have to understand the new technologies and the regulations that governing bodies have in every part of the country, including federal and local,” he said. “This deep understanding enables us to confidently represent and advise our customers with full visibility.”
“We’re not a technology company — our commodity is our people,” Andrews said. “And it’s really important for us to continue to evolve and stay ahead of the curve. The only way we can do that is to upskill our existing team and bring in the right people.”
That means that companies can trust Bureau Veritas’ experts who are there at the beginning of a project to address any issues or problems that a customer may have, according to Andrews.
“Our people work closely on projects with owner-engineers to assess the situation and provide strategic guidance, particularly focused on quality management and quality systems,” he said. “Often our clients are not hiring people internally, so we can help provide this expertise and serve as an extension of their team.”
In order to stay ahead of the curve for its clients, Bureau Veritas’ power and utilities group is more proactive than reactive, according to Andrews.
“We have to stay in front and understand what’s coming down the pipeline and have designated experts staying on the pulse of new technology and regulations,” he said.
Keeping that proactive edge is going to be paramount for Bureau Veritas as it moves into the future, according to Andrews.
“I think that these next eight to 10 years are going to be highly pivotal moments — similar to what we saw in the age of the internet,” he said. “The renewable space is going to continue to grow and boom. I think we’re going to see new technologies enter the marketplace and battery advancements will be critical.”
But with any industry going through massive growth, there are also challenges that must be addressed, according to Andrews.
“For example, the supply chain will continue to be a huge factor. Bureau Veritas offers solutions to help organizations combat supply chain challenges,” he said. “Our team can educate our clients on where certain products are derived from and assess the quality. We ask important questions like: Is that a qualified source? Do they have their own quality systems? What type of factory? Where are the locations?”
Bottom line is that keeping the wind-energy industry growing is a monumental task, but it’s one Andrews said the people who make up Bureau Veritas are more than prepared to take on.
“We’re a leader in this industry because of our people, and I’m proud to be a part of that,” he said. “Over the next eight to 10 years, the sky’s the limit, and Bureau Veritas will be at the forefront.”
More info: www.bvna.com