The wind energy industry looks to be making a major shift, according to data in Mortenson’s new Renewable Energy Leadership Series study, “The 40-Year Turbine.”
According to the study, now that the industry has begun to mature, owners and operators are beginning to face the challenge of turbines that are coming to the end of their design lives and are turning to more proactive strategies to increase both ROI and the lives of existing turbines.
The results of Mortenson’s survey indicate that these strategies rely on collecting more data.
“The industry is evolving into more predictive, proactive maintenance,” said Mortenson wind executive Todd Bell. “Owners are starting to install all of these maintenance processes to collect data so they can start forecasting failures, to avoid having unexpected catastrophic failures.”
This data is helping the industry at a time when critical decisions are being made.
As technology evolves, the strategies for prolonging turbine life are shifting at every level, from owners to manufacturers and EPCs. Standardization in parts and procedures as a way to extend turbine life appears as a recurrent theme in the study, as does the most significant challenge facing the industry — a challenge that has nothing to do with equipment or technology.
According to Bell, the largest challenge that the industry is currently facing is in finding, retaining, and developing qualified technicians, and how the industry responds will certainly drive the future of wind energy.
For more information, go to www.mortenson.com.