My feet are tired and my eyes are heavy, but I feel satisfied with a successful day at AWEA 2011. The floors were full with companies eager to talk about the wind industry. Yes, it’s true project growth may be slowing down, but conversation is picking up. Today I got a lot of feedback about some of the major issues the industry is facing.
For one, with more turbines coming out of warranty, operations and maintenance is becoming a huge focus for many wind farm operators. Furthermore, regardless of warranty periods, the industry is always looking for ways to reduce operation and maintenance costs and thereby increase wind farm reliability, productivity, and profitability.
One company, Bronto Skylift, is helping to reduce costs through their 112-m aerial model, the world’s largest. This takes only about 15 minutes to set up, thereby reducing maintenance time and cost. Another company, Moog, also offers electric motors for turbines that have longer lifespans and require less maintenance. Lastly, 3TIER has developed a risk management system to give banks and investors a better idea of what projects are likely to be the most successful.
Over all, the show’s many exhibitors in their modest to exquisite booths conveyed that while the wind industry has slightly slowed in growth, the thinking of its players has not. There are many new ideas out there that will help reduce costs, while increasing efficiency and reliability. And that gives me hope that the wind industry has the strength to bounce back and grow much more yet.
Filed Under: Turbines