The maintenance of wind farms in operation: the big challenge facing future wind development in Spain

The limited outlook for the construction of new wind farms and facilities in future means that the maintenance of existing installations becomes critically important. As data from the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) shows, the majority of wind farms, around 20,000 MW, have exceeded their two-year warranty periods and their extended five-year warranties, thereby paving the way for a new approach to contracting and maintaining wind installations.

It is furthermore clear that, once the wind farm has been constructed, there are only two ways to improve the project’s cash flow, renegotiating the financial conditions or hedging interest rates aside: improving production and reducing O&M costs. The problem is that the former requires investment, leaving the only viable option lower costs, which means it is essential to seek to bring down O&M costs without compromising in any event the availability or the lifetime of the equipment and components.

Maintenance therefore becomes the key element for the future operation of wind farms and this includes a wide range of activities and tasks. Read more…


Article published in: FuturENERGY July-August 2015