Commercial operation and maintenance of wind farms always involves trying to find the most cost-effective solution from various possible options. In this paper, a maintenance action within a Spanish wind farm was studied, whereby a blade replacement was required to prevent catastrophic failure. The conducted replacement was accompanied by an underperformance resolved in a later blade re-pitching. We analyse the decision taken in terms of the power performance and net present value from the cash flow resulting from the energy sales. The impact of the timing of the maintenance is discussed in various what-if scenarios. The sensitivity to environmental causes of underperformance is compared by varying the duration of blade icing and comparing the performance in different wind directions. Country dynamics and subsidy impacts are hypothetically evaluated for the prevailing electricity market conditions as if the turbine were operating in either Spain, Netherlands or the UK. The findings highlight the uncertainty in power performance and the importance of maintenance accuracy. It is shown that the decision-making of operators should not only consider the seasonality of the wind resource, but also the seasonality in electricity markets.
- Electricity markets
- Net present value
- Operation and maintenance (O&M)
- Power curve
- Wind turbine