In the wind energy sector, engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts have been instrumental in driving down wind energy cost. This is partially attributable to large, powerful turbines that can tap into more wind energy at low prices. While the cost of construction of wind farms has also fallen, however, there are ways to go before prices can be driven down further.
The other important aspect of economical wind power is driving out waste. As commented by a senior official at Mortenson Construction, one of the major EPCs in the U.S., while wind industry has reached new heights, driving out waste is still rudimentary. The company’s standard work procedure involves formulating work instructions at putting them in place, however, workers are challenged to improve work standards and are incentivized for the same. This is because tweaking a process can lower resource requirement for a particular task, which in turn, helps optimize task allocation.
Use of Software Aids Operational Efficiency for Wind Power
The use of software is the next big thing for bringing operational efficiencies in the wind industry. This involves 3D design software for a know-how of the complete project from a sequencing perspective and a fourth layer that provides an understanding of the state of the project at any given time. For example, Vestas, one of the top turbine manufacturers in the world announced that it uses an operational efficiency software to drive down cost at the IT level. The software makes use of automation and advanced analytics to aid buyers and suppliers develop more successful relationships, and at the same time enable effective management of cost and risk in complex service environments.