Untapped opportunities for Canada’s expanding wind energy industry to enhance grid reliability and add value for consumers in the shift to a low-carbon future were recently in the spotlight. More than 230 wind energy professionals attended the Canadian Wind Energy Association’s (CanWEA) fourth annual and largest-ever Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Summit, held January 30 to 31 at the Hilton Mississauga.
The summit brought owners, operators, manufacturers, and service providers together to discuss operations issues in the world’s ninth largest wind energy fleet, and explore innovative tools and techniques to increase efficiencies, drive down costs, and unlock the technical potential of modern wind power facilities.
“Wind energy has been the leading source of new electricity generation in Canada for more than a decade and today wind energy is the lowest-cost source of non-emitting generation available in Canada,” said Robert Hornung, CanWEA President. “As a mainstream player in the power sector, our industry is committed to setting a strong example for effective, efficient and safe operations. CanWEA’s 2018 O&M Summit gave operators, manufacturers and service providers a chance to work collaboratively to meet that goal, by sharing information and expertise, developing solutions to current challenges, and looking ahead to the needs of the electricity grid of the future.”
With wind-farm operators and turbine technicians active at 295 wind farms across Canada, workforce development and a range of health and safety best practices in areas like electrical safety, fall arrest equipment, up-tower rescues, confined spaces and ergonomics were on the summit agenda. Data-driven maintenance strategies, emerging technologies and service offerings, icing challenges, and repowering opportunities were also key topics discussed by the summit’s line up of expert speakers from across North America.
A highlight of the event was the presentation of two new CanWEA awards, recognizing excellence in health and safety, and innovative approaches to O&M. Cartier Énergie Éolienne took home the inaugural Health and Safety Excellence Award, while LiftWerx won CanWEA’s first O&M Outstanding Achievement Award.
This year’s summit also featured an expanded exhibition showcasing leading companies in Canada’s growing wind energy O&M market.
“Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy was pleased to be the title sponsor of this year’s CanWEA O&M Summit,” said Paul Van der Weg, Operations Manager for Canada, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy. “Our industry has made great strides focusing on safety while continuously reducing the levelized cost of energy. We maintain a safe working environment while improving productivity, extending project life spans, and creating new value for wind farm owners and operators.”
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