OEMs Block Wind Turbine Optimization, Featured in North American Clean Energy
March 2, 2021
1 minute read
Wind plant operators face many challenges: low energy prices, hefty maintenance costs, investor pressure, and tight-- if existent-- margins. And despite common knowledge throughout the industry that wind turbines commonly underperform, the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are often unwilling to admit the shortcomings of their products to help owners bridge a widening gap to profitability.
Stranglehold on Profitability
The OEM stranglehold on the wind industry comes in the form of Long Term and Full Service Agreements (LTSAs and FSAs) that block trusted third-party partners from working with plant operators and independent power producers (IPPs) to improve plant performance. OEMs often have multi-year agreements in place with operators that threaten warranty cancellation if equipment is altered or maintained by any third party. In addition, OEMs often hold back valuable data about turbine output from their owners and operators in the name of protecting valuable equipment still under warranty. The result? IPPs and operators end up struggling to make money at their wind plants. This problem is likely to worsen as more OEMs move towards expanding their service divisions, squeezing out independent service providers...