Speaking at the Offshore Wind O&M Forum Update held in London last week by Wind Energy Update, Mark Paine of Scottish Power Renewables said the industry had to learn from experiences in oil and gas to improve how it analyses risk and makes O&M choices.
Conference participants identified product reliability and improved measurements aimed at preventing failure as crucial elements in boosting wind farm availability.
However, in a young industry where information about the root causes of failures is still lacking and specialist skills are in short supply, it remains difficult for O&M managers to choose the most appropriate strategy for maintaining their assets.
Operators must focus on maximising and optimising generation, delegates heard. This can only be achieved through more cooperation between developers and constructors, asset owners, OEMs and the supply chain.
Andy Lewin of the UK's ORE Catapult information-sharing initiative said that work had started on the development of a new wind energy benchmarking system (WEBS) that will seek input from onshore and offshore wind farms across Europe on crucial elements such as performance, environmental impacts and reliability to produce industry-defined benchmarks.