OST Energy NA, a technical advisory, has announced the completion of its work as an independent engineering consultant on behalf of Apex Clean Energy (Apex) for the 147-MW Grant Plains Wind Facility (comprising 64 wind turbines). The work helped the developer bring the construction project successfully to fruition prior to the start of operations in December 2016.
Southern Company subsidiary Southern Power, a leading U.S. energy provider, owns Grant Plains Wind Facility, developed and operated by Apex. With an outlook for rapid growth in wind power capacity over the coming decade, demand for independent technical advisory services in the US market has spiked, as project investors, developers and operators seek to mitigate project risks and ensure the expedient delivery of high quality, high-performance wind energy assets.
At Grant Plains, Apex selected OST to certify completion of the facility and confirm the facility’s readiness to meet the commercial obligations of its off-takers. The scope of work included visiting the site, inspecting wind turbines, assessing wind turbine supervisory control and data acquisition data for testing on completion, and review of all the technical aspects related to the project, including wind turbine generator technology, Balance-of-Plant design, and construction contracts.
The service included assessment of the wind farm’s condition, ensuring compliance with project design, and confirmation of proper quality control. Following a successful technical consultation, the wind farm has now entered commercial operations.
Although the U.S. wind power market is growing rapidly, there are prevailing uncertainties, especially after the PTC phase-down and the threat of tax and tariff changes that bring an element of insecurity to the financing and development of schemes. OST says it is aiming to give wind energy stakeholders confidence in their investment decisions and, with sound due diligence support and advice, reduce the level of risk inherent in funding and bringing new schemes online.
John R. Stone, Senior Director | Project Management, of Apex Clean Energy, commented: “OST’s team provided an important independent perspective at Grant Plains. Their comprehensive monitoring and technical reporting validated the efforts of our project teams in getting the project up and running on schedule, and has helped to confirm that the wind farm will perform in line with expectations.”