Industry News


Benchmarking the Growing Wind Industry

Ways to benchmark the wind industy and renewable energy are increasingly important to facily management roles.

Sandia National Laboratories has published the second annual Wind Plant Reliability Benchmark.  The results detail the wind industry’s performance, vulnerabilities, and productivity.

Until now, wind farm owners and operators had no way to compare their output with the output of similar operations. To benchmark the reliability of the U.S. wind turbine fleet and identify major causes of failures and downtime, the DOE commissioned Sandia National Laboratories in 2010 to build the Continuous Reliability Enhancement for Wind, or CREW, database. This is the first effort to compile a comprehensive, operator-independent dataset that accurately reflects the performance of the U.S. wind fleet.

Each year, Sandia Labs surveys the database and publishes the results to help benchmark the industry. This year, the more than 800 wind turbines studied are either producing electricity or are available to produce electricity 97% of the time, up from 94.8% in 2011.

“With better understanding of how major turbine systems are performing, wind operators can focus on improving those areas that will drive increased reliability and efficiency,” says Sandia researcher and CREW team lead Alistair Ogilvie.

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