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BVG seeks reliability revolution

Thetis conference told risk management also crucial at early stage

BVG seeks reliability revolution image

Increasing device reliability is a crucial element in industry efforts to reduce the cost of offshore wind, according to BVG Associates.

Bruce Valpy told the Thetis marine energy conference today: “If turbines were 100% reliable we could reduce the total cost of electricity by up to 10%. That's why we need a much more reliability-focused approach from the very early stages of product development.”

Such an approach would include calculations of a reliability OPEX budget early on in the development process which is then passed on to suppliers.

Other areas of improvement include maintenance procedures tested at the demonstrator stage and an internal or external reliability champion, who oversees that procedures are being followed correctly.

All this information needs to be communicated to insurers at an early stage, said Michael Bullock from risk management and insurance intermediation firm Renewable Risk Advisers.

“When risk-averse insurers are faced with a project they don't really understand and for which they are not given sufficient data, the insurance price will go up”, he said.

It is therefore essential that developers try to understand their own project risk by talking to local risk professions and marine warranty experts, he added.

Project owners should also hire experienced people and use widely tested components. Communicating with insurers early on is even more crucial when talking about technology is at an early stage of development such as numerous wave and tidal turbines, said Bullock.

Image: panellists at Thetis discussing cost cutting (reNEWS)

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