Utilise Technology to Scale your Wind Farm Business
“Cost reductions, technology improvements and rapid deployment are needed for wind generation. Onshore wind additions through 2026 are set to be almost 25% higher on average than in the 2015-2020 period. Global onshore wind additions doubled in 2020.”
IEA (International Energy Association)
Scaling a wind farm business means being able to handle and adapt quickly to an increase in work or output. This could be due to adding additional wind turbines to an existing portfolio or increasing O&M (Operations and Maintenance) service contracts. A scalable business is one that focuses on the implementation of processes that result in an efficient operation. Repetitive, manual processes can create a significant and costly admin burden and can impede economies of scale. They are time consuming; information can be siloed and inaccurate, visibility is impaired, time is taken away from important duties and the bottom line can be seriously impacted.
Automate Processes with the Right Technology
When any typical business sets out to scale their company, they must understand their existing process details and find a way to automate them through the right technology. Wind Farm operational management relies on multiple procedures and processes to ensure optimal wind energy production and worker safety. WTSR (Wind Turbine Safety Rules) is Safe System of Work (SSoW) providing a set of support procedures to manage the significant risks associated when carrying out work or testing on wind turbines. Some of these procedures with accompanying actions can include site access/egress, enacting transfer of turbine control and ensuring that only competent technicians carry out work/testing on the site. Important processes such as work order management, site inductions and training can take a lot longer to get completed if too much manual effort is required and are often erroneous. By leveraging software and technology to automate standardised and repeatable processes wind farm businesses can benefit from ease of work for employees, time gains, cost savings and the eradication of human error.
How can Skylark help?
As the demand for renewable energy increases, so does the financial and labour burden on companies to manage their site-based personnel. Skylark provides an automated operational control software platform to enable owners and operators of wind farms to track and manage workers more safely and effectively.
Process efficiency, significant productivity gains and cost savings
Site based personnel use our mobile app 24/7 to complete self-service inductions, check-on and off-site and receive work orders, greatly reducing the administrative time, human error and cost burden associated with repetitive phone calls and manual processes for busy control rooms. The Skylark app removes the need for costly telephone interaction that can lead to greater human error and time wasting. Skylark also has a bespoke digital form builder that can be used for daily job plans and progress reports, dynamic risk assessments, on the spot toolbox talks, digitising AWPS, site inspections and environmental audits. We also only charge per turbine, so you do not incur any additional costs with increased users.
“The challenges we faced with call volumes, logging and checking information in spreadsheets were overwhelming. Being distracted by time consuming calls, checking, and cross-referencing information is now a thing of the past. Skylark has removed this issue and we can easily manage operational control anywhere, anytime via the mobile app. “ Nattapong Boonnithivorakul, Senior Operations Manager, Wind Energy Holding, Thailand
System’s integration, real time visibility and a unified operational view
Systems integration is a prime area that can also help wind farm companies scale effectively. Multiple systems especially if they do not work together can create silos, communication issues and a lack of visibility over business operations. Converting manual systems to automated processes within a unified, and simplified system provides an easily accessible centralised platform, integrating with other asset management platforms to provide a single view of real-time asset status across different geographies.
“As part of our move towards greater efficiencies and digitisation, we identified the Skylark platform as a cloud-based technology that provides an automated interface between technicians and the control room via the Skylark phone app. This enables the Control Room to allow technicians real-time access to turbines using the phone app, providing more efficient communication, productivity optimisation and reduced downtime. Introducing the system has proved to be an effective and efficient tool in Asset Management’s move towards digitising our processes, reducing risk, and increasing profitability. “ Alan Edwards, Head of Operations in Ireland for Statkraft
Achieve Compliance and Improve Health & Safety
Skylark’s work order processes and flows that are aligned to the WTSR (Wind Turbine Safety Rules) can ensure that Safer Systems of Work are in place to mitigate risk and improve compliance. The software has built in safety features including push safety notifications and the ability to issue weather alerts. Operational team training is automated to ensure that certified only workers can access the site.
Improve Data Security
Data security can also be an issue when businesses attempt to scale. Skylark is a cloud-based solution that provides an extra layer of security with two-factor security confirmation to ensure that unauthorised users will not be able to access the Skylark platform.
“Wind Energy Holding has future growth plans, so we had to implement a platform that was scalable and would grow with us. I would highly recommend Skylark to company in the wind energy sector.” Kelly Dallas, Vice President Technical, Wind Energy Holding, Thailand
Control room technology plays an integral role in maximising operational efficiency, reducing risk, minimising costs, ensuring regulatory compliance, and optimising the ability to scale wind farm operations.