As we head into 2019, we continue to ponder one of our obsessions: How do wind farm owners know that they are getting the best value from their assets? Asset management strategies lie somewhere between doing it all in-house, and subcontracting everything. Whoever is the managing asset, the question remains – are they extracting maximum value from it, and are they managing it in line with overall operational and ownership strategies?
At BVGA, we are in constant contact with asset owners and operators from across all parts of the industry – from international utilities with diverse portfolios through to single turbine sites. We know that the majority of owners believe that their sites are being run to a high standard. We also observe, though, that a site has to be performing very badly for it to appear on someone’s radar as needing additional focus. This feels incongruous – are the vast majority of sites being operated “perfectly”, with just a few really poor outliers, or is the reality that as an industry we have simply reached the stage where “good enough” will do?
We think it’s the latter. In some ways this is a positive thing as it shows we have reached a maturity of service in operations where the majority of owners are satisfied most of the time. The danger is that as an industry we become complacent. Marginal gains are gains nonetheless. Getting closer to the detail of operations brings greater understanding of strengths and weaknesses. Increased understanding makes owners more agile and in a better position to adjust when bigger disruptions come our way. Subsidy-free markets, anyone?
We supplement our deep operational experience with direct knowledge of control systems, turbine design, software development, performance management, solutions integration, data analytics, technology innovation, supply chain development, socio-economic impacts and business strategy. We believe that every owner/operator has the opportunity to make changes which will result in financial gain – whether it is better change management, better analytics, de-risking of fund investments or quicker implementation of technology improvement plans. We believe that we can help you both identify these opportunities and realise them. Every business has its own unique characteristics, and we seek to understand these by applying our expertise in business strategy consulting.
Crucially, we believe that while the industry average is now good, we should not collectively fall into the trap of thinking that good is good enough. Only those who never settle for “good enough” will thrive in a subsidy free world.