Wind farm owners representing 12 % of global wind turbine assets have founded a new peer-to-peer online platform called o2oWind, dedicated to the exchange of knowledge and experience on operation and maintenance issues. The o2o Wind forum is the first initiative of the kind aimed at fostering wind farm O&M best practice through a collaborative approach. Wind energy giants such as EDPR, Vattenfall, RWE, DONG Energy and Acciona Energia have already joined this exclusive network, along with numerous other wind turbine owners.
Mårten Nilsson, who is heading o2oWind, explained: “When it comes to trouble-shooting the O&M issues they encounter, wind farm owners are not competitors. On the contrary they are in the same boat, and that’s why adopting a collaborative approach to problem-solving makes a lot of sense. Our members recognise that the most valuable information for turbine owners is the hands-on experience held by their peers.”
Members share the common objective of optimising turbine yields, and many specialist discussions revolve around issues with main components such as rotor blades, gearboxes or substations. With o2o Wind members owning more than 60% of all offshore turbines in the world, the platform is also strong on offshore O&M. Although the topics treated on the forum are mainly technical, they can also be connected to major investment decisions.
o2oWind takes down the usual barriers to information exchange that get in the way of the performance optimisation of wind assets. Sverre Trollnes, Manager Operation & Maintenance at Statoil, pointed out that “Compared to other industries, wind still has some issues that are difficult to change when we operate in isolation.”
“Low yields and costly stand-stills have plagued the industry for too long, with no long term gains for anyone. We need to collaborate to reach the goal. It’s that simple”, commented Alan Henderson, Head of Technical Asset Management at RWE Innogy.
The very strict member selection criteria are designed to weed out noise, and maintain a very high level of expertise throughout the network: “I consider the o2o Wind group as the best forum to share experiences with other wind farm owners regarding technical problems and their solution from the point of view of the owners“, said Cristobal Couret, Director of Production at Acciona Energia.