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The impact of maintenance contract arrangements on the yield of offshore wind power plants

Hawker, Graeme S and McMillan, David A (2015) The impact of maintenance contract arrangements on the yield of offshore wind power plants. Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part O: Journal of Risk and Reliability, 229 (5). pp. 394-402. ISSN 1748-006X

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Abstract

In the optimisation of maintenance and vessel strategies for the operation of offshore wind plant, it is normally assumed that the off-taker of the power produced may directly control the dispatch of maintenance resources. However, in practice, services such as maintenance technicians and vessels are usually contracted from companies with larger arenas of operation, and so the organisational interfaces between these parties, and the different objective functions involved, need to be considered. This article looks at different current and future models for contracted maintenance, identifies interfaces and conflicts of interest, and constructs a quantified model demonstrating the potential impact on headline energy yields for a set of wind farms with a common contracted maintenance resource. The modelling illustrates that the performance of a site with contracted maintenance operations is not only dependent on the contracts held by that site but also on the effective competition in place with other sites for a centralised resource, and the performance of a site may be highly sensitive to the alignment of contractual incentives, relative travel distances, and the relative size of the site in terms of energy yield.