One segment of the wind energy business that is not stagnating is onsite service and maintenance of wind generation equipment, according to Wind Energy Services Company (WES), a specialist in composite components such as blades, nacelles, and nose cones. The company announces that it has expanded service offerings to meet the evolving needs of wind farm operators, and as a result anticipate doubling their workforce in the coming year. The expanded services that the company is adding include dynamic rotor balancing, comprehensive rotor service maintenance programs, and replacement composite parts for older-model equipment.
One reason behind the increasing demand for turbine repair and maintenance is the maturing of the installed base of wind turbines, some of which is aging out of warranty. As fleets age, instances of breakdown become more frequent and overall productivity declines, especially impacting profitability when the equipment is no longer covered by manufacturer warranty.
WES has created a range of planned maintenance programs tailored to a variety of operator needs. These comprehensive programs include inspection, corrective repairs and restoration, and preventative measures like leading-edge protection. The programs are scheduled during low-wind seasons to minimize loss of production revenue. For instance, in the Midwestern U.S. the summer months offer optimum working and curing conditions, as well as efficiencies in mobilization to the site, translating to bottom-line cost savings.
North American operators have historically been slow to implement pro-active maintenance practices, electing instead to manage breakdowns as they occur. Recent studies by independent researchers have shown that over the lifecycle of a turbine, repair costs are substantially less with scheduled maintenance programs than on an emergency call basis. As the industry pursues ways to improve their efficiencies and profitability, preventative maintenance is gaining acceptance as a necessary best practice.
Another new offering from WES is spare parts for older turbines. Through the Molded Fiber Glass Companies (MFG), WES’s parent company and one of the largest manufacturers of composite components in the U.S., WES is now supplying custom orders of replacement blades, nacelles, spinners, hatches, and other FRP components that are no longer stocked by the OEM. MFG’s process for creating tooling from a customer’s existing part is quick and non-destructive to the part itself.
With the business expansion, WES anticipates a doubling of their workforce in the coming year, and is actively recruiting top talent for their Gainesville, Texas, headquarters as well as satellite service centers in California and South Dakota. “We want to attract and bolster the top blade repair force in the industry, especially with experienced technicians with management aptitude and ambition,” says Gary Kanaby, director of sales for WES. “It’s a job like none other—a blend of extreme sport, technical know-how, and business sense, and we’re looking for the very best of the breed to join our premier team.”
The company is currently seeking candidates to fill position openings for onsite team leaders, project manager, and composite repair technicians, and it anticipates bringing on 25 or more new teammates in the next six months. More information is available at www.windenergyservicesusa.com.