Offshore wind performance shortfall must be addressed through in-depth analysis
Clir Renewables, the leading provider of performance assessment software for wind energy, has announced that in excess of one gigawatt of Europe’s offshore wind assets have been onboarded onto its platform by the end of the first quarter of 2020. This milestone follows 2019’s mammoth year of offshore wind construction, with 3GW installed in Europe alone.
To date, however, the offshore wind industry has, in some cases, struggled to meet production expectations, resulting in lowered production forecasts and a drop in developer share prices. Notable instances have demonstrated there is still insufficient understanding of the effects of offshore turbines on one another, not to mention the harsh offshore conditions on new turbine technology. At present, this leaves owners reliant on off-the-shelf power estimations to define the performance potential of the latest super-sized offshore wind projects.
Conversely, in choosing Clir to monitor and optimize their assets, leading offshore project owners have taken the lead in addressing this performance shortfall. Clir’s artificial intelligence analyses turbine health and performance data in the context of their environment. This allows owners to develop a true understanding of the behavior of their assets; identifying not only when the turbine is underperforming, but the root cause of this underperformance.
Craig McCall, Chief Revenue Officer, Clir, commented: “Recent investment in offshore wind shows the enormous potential this technology has to power the clean energy transition. However, the long-term impacts of Covid-19 on the development of new projects remains uncertain.
“While much of 2020’s offshore capacity is in the late stages of construction, it is likely that there will be a drop in the number of new projects commissioned as the restrictions put in place on travel and working practices to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus impact the global supply chain. As such, it will be more important than ever for owners to make sure operational projects are producing as much energy as possible for as long as possible to meet ongoing energy demands.
Craig continued: “It’s great to see a number of large owners focusing on developing a greater understanding of their projects – this not only supports industry understanding of the true performance of offshore technology, but these asset owners will be in a great place to protect the lifetime of their assets and cut the likelihood of downtime. Investing in understanding the unknowns around asset performance in an offshore environment will be key to de-risking not only current operations, but future project financing.”
Collectively, Clir’s operational team has more than 5GW of experience working directly with offshore projects – including London Array, Beatrice, and East Anglia ONE wind farms.