UL, an adviser on the technical development, evaluation, and optimization of renewable energy projects, has deepened its collaboration with ONYX Insight, a provider of data analytics and engineering expertise to the global wind industry.
The businesses are collaborating on an expanded life evaluation program, using UL’s wind forecasting and structural assessment with ONYX Insight’s operations and maintenance expertise and predictive technology to help operators enhance performance — and clean-energy generation — from their maturing assets.
More than 15 percent of wind projects will reach about two decades of operation in 2022. As assets age, they can become less reliable, leaving operators with three choices to safeguard their investment: repowering, decommissioning, or life extension. By removing uncertainty around crucial maintenance decisions, advanced analysis and monitoring technology are helping to transform the economics of life extension and deliver ongoing revenue for asset owners at an affordable cost.
“When assets near the end of their original life cycles, operators will consider two key objectives: maintaining safety and profitability,” said Jeremy Tchou, UL’s Wind Advisory director for North America. “We are proud to partner with ONYX Insight to help asset operators achieve these goals using in-house structural analysis and advanced monitoring technology, arming them with the data they need to deliver for their stakeholders. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with ONYX Insight as we drive to support the energy transition through innovative solutions.”
ONYX Insight and UL’s collaboration includes a review of more than 100 GW of assets globally. It also covers technical advisory services on acquisitions involving turbine technical review, evaluation of target sites, and operational expenditure forecasts. The businesses have built on their collaboration with recent life evaluation projects involving hundreds of turbines across a range of makes and models.
UL’s deep track record of life evaluation work includes structural assessment — including turbine, tower and foundation — to ascertain turbine capabilities and estimates of a turbine’s useful life. ONYX Insight’s foundation monitoring hardware unlocks additional data streams for analysis, feeding into an informed predictive maintenance strategy and reducing operations and maintenance costs.
“Successfully extending the life of a project can mean reducing the cost of operations in the long-term as the project ages,” said Dr. Ashley Crowther, chief commercial officer, ONYX Insight. “With our broad suite of solutions, monitoring the health of the asset from top to bottom, we are delighted to support UL in enabling older wind farms to play their part in the race to net zero.”
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