Provide OEM for 264 MW W.Va. wind farm

Gamesa Technology Corp Inc., has secured a 10-year, full-service operation and maintenance agreement with NedPower to service its 264 MW Mount Storm Wind Farm in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle. The companies did not disclose the value of the contract. The OEM has been providing O&M services under a five-year services agreement that went into effect when the project became operational in 2008. That O&M agreement ends June 30, 2013; the new 10-year full-service agreement takes effect July 1, 2013.

Gamesa offers an O&M service portfolio, and currently has over 2 GW under service contracts in the United States. The O&M agreement includes the Gamesa Premium Availability (GPA) program, launched two years ago. GPA is a continuous improvement program aimed at increasing reliability, reducing risk, and lowering the cost of energy. GPA includes a full range of turbine platform upgrades, from operational and software improvements to small correctives, logistics optimization for large correctives and innovative preventive maintenance solutions. These design and service process improvements maximize turbine availability and can reduce wind farm operational expenditures by as much as 10%.

The agreement guarantees “Run Time Availability” in line with NedPower’s energy production goals, keeping the turbines online and getting them back into full service quickly after any maintenance; downtime affects wind turbine revenues. The NedPower project has been a collaboration with each company dedicating resources to enhance best management practices in operation and safety.

Gamesa and NedPower worked to develop advancements in safety management, and to integrate those concepts and techniques into the daily operations of the wind farm. One illustration is an improved fall-arrest system, jointly engineered and evaluated by the two companies. This joint collaboration has led to a strong health and safety record at the site.

The National Nuclear Security Administration awarded Siemens Government Technologies a contract to build the federal government’s largest wind farm at Pantex Plant, a $55 million, five-turbine facility expected to save taxpayers $2.9 million yearly in energy costs.

The Pantex wind farm, which will be operated by Siemens along Farm-to-Market Road 2373 on 1,500 acres of land east of the plant, is expected to produce about 45 million kilowatt-hours of electricity yearly — more than 60 percent of Pantex’s annual energy needs, NNSA officials said.

“Three years of hard work, dedication and determination have paid off,” said Steve Erhart, manager of NNSA’s production office. “The NNSA’s goal was to turn Texas wind into energy, and we have overcome numerous hurdles in implementing the contracting strategy.”

Energy savings from the wind farm are expected to average $2.9 million annually over the 20-year term of the contract, NNSA officials said.

Siemens will provide a turn-key wind farm system for 20 years that includes a five-year service, maintenance and warranty agreement with operating and maintenance options from years six through 10. Siemens will provide an annual energy production guarantee. The government payment to Siemens will come directly from the value of the guaranteed energy savings generated by the farm, NNSA officials said.

The wind farm will offer research opportunities for Texas Tech University. The project will be financed by an unidentified third party, NNSA officials said. Construction is expected to begin in December with an estimated completion date of March 2014.

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