In a new report, the consulting firm IHS Emerging Energy Research says it expects O&M spending to grow at a 5.5% compound annual rate as total installed onshore capacity grows from 47GW at the end of 2011 to a projected 127GW over the next 14 years.
IHS EER North American Wind Energy Advisory program associate director, Matt Kaplan said: "O&M strategies are increasingly vital to improving the operational performance and bottom line of a wind owner’s collective investment."
The growth in spending is making the market for O&S services more competitive, the report says. Large wind owners are bringing more of the work in-house to leverage economies of scale.
Additionally, turbine manufacturers are aggressively expanding the O&M side of their businesses to help make up for an expected drop in orders after this year. At the same time, a host of independent service providers are entering the business.
The competition is driving companies to offer new types of products aimed at improving project output. Kaplan added: "The industry’s intense focus on O&M today will ultimately result in more cost-effective methods for managing and maintaining wind projects, driving down the overall cost of wind in the future."