Managing field life
The renewable energy market is undoubtedly on the rise, particularly in Europe, where wind power is now the second largest source of electricity behind gas-fired power plants. According to a recent report from Wind Europe, the number of onshore and offshore wind turbines added a record 15.6GW of new energy capacity last year and the industry group also reported that 2017 was a record year for investment in future wind farms with agreements to build another 11.5GW of new capacity, worth around £19.8bn.
While the number of renewable energy projects continues to grow, countries early to the renewable revolution such as Germany have older, aging fields that now require integrated inspection and repair programmes to maximise productivity.
There is now a greater need for specialists in this field to provide the skills and experience to not only support installation of high quality wind farms, but also to maintain them throughout the full lifecycle.
Enhanced lifecycle management
Sparrows Group is a global provider of expert equipment and integrated engineering services to the energy and industrial industries. Last year the company acquired Alpha Offshore Service A/S in a deal that significantly strengthened the group’s operations and maintenance capabilities in the wind energy sector.
There was a demand in the renewable market for a company, which could support wind farm installation, but also maintain integrity to extend the overall field life past what is currently achievable. The combination of Sparrows equipment and integrity management and Alpha Offshore’s specialism in inspection personnel for the renewable market allowed the two to fill this gap.
Denmark-based Alpha Offshore has more than a decade of experience in the renewable market. As a focused supplier of engineering personnel and inspection services the company works with wind farm operators and turbine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) throughout the installation and commissioning, and operations and maintenance stages of developments.
This offering combined with Sparrows experience in lifting and mechanical handling means the group now supplies a complete support package for installation, maintenance and repair services to both on and offshore wind developments. Mikkel Lund, chief executive officer at Alpha Offshore explains the importance of this service across offshore wind turbines to ensure a safe and reliable project lifecycle.