A Canadian consulting firm has formed a joint venture with the Deutsche Windenergie Institute (DEWI) to provide technical advisory services to the wind energy sector in North America. Ortech, based in Toronto, and its German partner say they plan to emphasise reducing uncertainty in energy output estimates -- a problem highlighted at last year's Canadian wind industry conference -- promoting consistent technical standards and providing an improved understanding of operating risks to the marketplace. "With wind energy moving mainstream, we must increase the level of technical know-how to better manage potential sector risks and uncertainties to ensure continued growth and success of the industry," says Ortech president Uwe Roeper. DEWI is moving into the North American market after carrying out energy assessments for more than 8000 MW of installed wind generating capacity, including 1100 MW as technical advisor to major European banks. It also provides equipment certification and verification services. DEWI president Jens Peter Molly says the institute is looking forward to helping North American projects meet investor expectations. "Predicting and managing the long term performance of wind farms requires quality technical know-how of the deployed equipment, the operating conditions and the wind resource," he says.