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The latest research from Wind Energy Update reveals that despite the huge amount of attention given to gearbox failure, electrical faults are a leading cause of offshore wind turbine downtime. Failures of electrical and controls systems are the root cause of wind turbine repairs in 50% of cases, and operators should expect an electronic or electrical subassembly failure every 2 to 2.5 years, according to Wind Energy Update's Offshore operations and Maintenance report 2011, released today. According to the report's authors, while the failure rate event of electrical system and control faults/failures may not have the highest associated downtime, a higher frequency of occurrence translates into the highest mean annual downtime. "Electrical systems and components continue to cause relatively high rates of failure, and often result in unplanned servicing campaigns, because they are not as predictable as other types of failures," explain the authors. This is because generators, converters, conductors and transformers components require particular attention, and because condition-monitoring techniques are not always reliable enough to successfully conduct in-time prognosis. With balance-of-plant outages, alone, taking from 1 to 8 months to solve, an exhaustive list of components failure, covering export cables, power collectors, converters, switchgears and substations

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I've recently carried out some research into wind farm operation and maintenance, as part of the production for our upcoming conference - are you interested in having a look at one of the presentations delivered at our O&M 2010 event last year?It is entitled "The Changing direction of owner / operators towards a consistent, reliable, durable and repeatable system of operation and maintenance" delivered by Ceferino Viecas from EDP Renovaveis.It contains some really interesting information for owner/operators and service providers, as well as interesting insight into how owner/operators' relationships with OEMs and ISPs are changing.If you're interested just click here to download it.All the best,Will BroadEvent Director | Wind Energy Update+44 (0) 207 375 7516 | will@windenergyupdate.com 

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Hamburg: DNV has appointed Matthias Laatsch to lead its wind energy operations in Hamburg, Germany. Due to the combination of its global leadership in the certification of offshore wind projects and strong local capabilities in marine operations and surveillance in fabrication yards, DNV is in a prime position to support Germany's offshore wind energy industry.DNV's growing team in Hamburg comprises dedicated wind energy experts who are able to draw on DNV's 25 years of experience in serving the global wind energy industry. They will work closely with DNV's wind team based in Copenhagen, Denmark and London, UK, and will also be firmly supported by DNV's marine survey team, located in Hamburg and Oslo."With a strong local presence in Hamburg, DNV has much to offer to Germany`s major growth plans within the renewables sector," says Kevin Smith, DNV's Segment Director for Wind Energy."DNV appointed Matthias Laatsch due to his substantial experience and knowledge of the German offshore wind project certification market, as well as his extensive professional experience in complementary sectors such as bridge design and engineering, hydraulic steel works and large infrastructure projects," explains Frøydis Eldevik, DNV`s Director of Operations - Cleaner Energy Europe.Mr Laatsch, whose background is civil engineering

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The European Commission today proposed new EU legislation for speeding up and financing new energy infrastructure."9.1 billion Euros of financial support from the EU budget for priority projects is substantially more money than was provided in the past", said Christian Kjaer, Chief Executive Officer of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), referring to the Connecting Europe facility. "Although it represents only a small proportion of the 200 billion Euros the European Commission has estimated is needed for energy infrastructure improvements, it should, together with the proposal for Project Bonds, leverage significant additional private investments", he added.Kjaer warned it would be still not clear how this money will be divided between electricity, gas, oil and carbon capture and storage (CCS) infrastructure. CCS will not be ready by 2020, which means by the end of the time frame of this regulation. "A clear priority should be given to financial support for electricity infrastructure. This will bring clear benefits for Europe's energy security, the internal electricity market and integrating very large amounts of renewable energy", said Kjaer.EWEA fully supports the Commission's plans to eliminate unnecessary delays in authorisation procedures for new priority European power lines including offshore grids. "It is not

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Tentec's Aero range of bolt tensioning equipment for the installation and maintenance of wind turbines are now the tools of choice for installation and maintenance engineers on the world's largest operational offshore wind farm - Thanet. Following highly successful trials, comments on the bolt tensioning equipment from Tentec include "the tools have proven to be of better quality and handling than the ones we have previously used offshore", "easier to handle", faster to build up pressure" and "saves time".Since the launch of this innovative range, engineers throughout the world have used the bolt tensioning tools mainly for onshore construction and servicing. However, with this ringing endorsement, Tentec is confident that more offshore operators will consider the use of the Tentec Aero equipment."We have been very successful in gaining new contracts for onshore projects." explains Roy Sheldon, Sales Director at Tentec. "We are delighted that the tools are now in regular use on offshore developments as well."The installation team at the Thanet Offshore Wind Farm now holds a substantial number of Tentec's bolt tensioners for regular maintenance and repair work on the offshore turbines.Further Details: Paul Egginton. Tentec Ltd. Plymouth House. Guns Lane, West Bromwich, West Midlands B70 9HS.

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WindMade reveals certification criteria for clean power company labelToday, WindMade launched the Technical Standard for the first global consumer label for companies and organizations to buy wind power and other clean renewable energy. The label is backed by the UN Global Compact, WWF, Vestas Wind Systems, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the LEGO Group, Bloomberg and PricewaterhouseCoopers.Effective immediately, the WindMade standard allows interested entities to apply for use of the label to communicate the share of wind power and other renewable sources in their overall power consumption demand."WindMade is the first eco-label supported by the UN Global Compact," said Georg Kell, Executive Director of UN Global Compact. "It is fully aligned with our mission to promote greater corporate sustainability as the critical business contribution to sustainable development. As a tangible and meaningful consumer label, WindMade can go a long way in advancing the use of renewable energy around the globe."The WindMade Standard specifies the requirements for the use of the WindMade label, requiring participating companies to source a minimum of 25 percent of their electricity consumption from wind power. The wind energy share can be procured through a company-owned wind power generation facility, a long-term Power Purchase Agreement for

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In order to ensure reliable communication with its data loggers the leading wind measurement expert Ammonit has implemented Network Manager tools developed by Lanedo. As data loggers are mainly operated in remote areas around the globe and store valuable measurement data, stable communication via modem is essential.After unsatisfactory results with off-the-shelf hardware, Ammonit has been collaborating with Lanedo, a company that is specialized in developing software for open source communities. Ammonit's latest development, Meteo-40 data logger, uses a Linux-embedded subsystem with Network Manager for communication. Lanedo has enhanced the support of Network Manager for RS232 modems and developed plugins for 2G / 3G broadband modems as well as a plugin for Iridium satellite modems. Using these technologies Ammonit ensures reliable communication between the data logger and its host PC via several modems.Network Manager is a software tool used to simplify computer network configuration on Linux-based systems maintained by Red Hat. 

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NRG Systems, manufacturer of measurement systems for the renewable energy industry has agreed to invest in Oenko, a manufacturer and installer of lattice towers for wind resource assessment and wind farm monitoring. This investment pairs NRG Systems' nearly 30 years in the wind energy industry and its complete system approach with Oenko's cutting-edge lattice tower technology."This line of lattice towers complements our existing tower offerings," said Barton Merle-Smith. "Our investment enables us to offer customers greater choice in towers, booms and mounting hardware - meeting the full range of customer needs anywhere in the world."Based in Thetford Mines, Quebec, Oenko designs and manufactures lattice towers from 30 to 120 meters for all types of project sizes and locations, specializing in extreme arctic conditions. NRG Systems, based in Vermont, pioneered complete measurement systems with tubular tilt-up towers in the 1980s."I am pleased that Oenko has attracted the investment of NRG Systems," said Guy Fortin, president of Oenko. "This will enable us to expand globally while continuing to grow jobs in Thetford Mines." As a result of the investment, NRG Systems will hold a majority interest in Oenko. Manufacturing will remain in its current location with Oenko's existing workforce, while Mr. Fortin

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A recent report commissioned into offshore wind energy found that the costs of keeping offshore turbines online ranges from €100,000 to €300,000 per year Vs an allocated €45,000 per turbine for onshore portfolios. With the latest round 3 projects typically 60km+ from shore, reliability, optimisation and cost reduction are becoming top priority for wind farm owner/operators. New advances in wind turbine technology are dramatically increasing the potential for improved turbine efficiency and optimised performance. However the rapid advancement of the industry and the constant need to constrain the supply chain to meet demand O&M costs continue to skyrocket. It has been proven that just a one percent improvement in operations and maintenance can make a huge difference to the bottom line of a wind portfolio. With wind farm ROI believed to be minus 21 percent, it is becoming imperative to identify the where the savings and efficiency improvements can be made. Wind Energy experts gather in Hamburg to collaborate on crucial O&M solutions In light of the unique challenges the wind industry is facing, international wind energy owner/operators, market leading OEMs and global wind consultancies are gathering together on the 24-25th January to discuss how to achieve the

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New results on offshore electricity grid infrastructure in Europe: the EU "OffshoreGrid" project analysis reveals tremendous cost saving potential. Report published in Brussels today.Offshore grids, connecting North and Baltic Sea wind farms to electricity consumers, will be substantially cheaper to build than expected. Building "hub connections" at sea instead of using cables to connect single wind farms individually to the shore will result in investment costs that are 14 billion Euros lower. Additionally if these hub connections were combined with an even more interconnected "meshed grid", the necessary additional costs of 5 to 7 billion Euros would be compensated by 16 to 21 billion Euros of additional benefits over 25 years of grid operation.The cost for creating the complete meshed offshore grid including wind farm connections would amount to about 0.1 Eurocent per kWh consumed in the EU27 over the project life time.There have been numerous estimates as to the costs such a grid may involve and the form it may take. The OffshoreGrid project, co-financed by the European Commission, proves the financial benefits of building a meshed European grid offshore and outlines two cost-efficient designs. However, it warns that a new regulatory framework is needed to enable its construction."As

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