Report: Untapped Generating Potential in Existing Wind Fleet

By Editors of Power Engineering

A new study by Uptake Technologies concludes existing turbines in the United States aren’t producing as much power as they could, and have the potential to generate an additional 12 TWh of electricity.

The study indicates operational hurdles have prevented wind facilities from reaching 99 percent availability due to unforeseen issues resulting in reactive maintenance, unorganized and decentralized data, unnecessary inspections based on time instead of component condition, challenges in managing parts inventory and flaws in wind equipment, such as defects in anemometers and poor vertical and horizontal alignments.

“Some existing wind parks have underperformed preconstruction energy assessments,” the report said. “For projects under development, producing more energy will be necessary as renewable procurement auctions press for ever-lower costs to find an energy buyer.

Uptake indicated much of the inefficiencies could be addressed with predictive analytics and visibility software that provides better status updates and problem forecasts.

The report only studied energy lost during downtime, but suggested additional productivity gains could come from analytics software that could identify underperforming turbines.