Ah, a coda to the WindPower show coverage ...

Bill Cook of Aggreko at WINDPOWER 2013Obviously, we had very little background on the Wind Power industry prior to attending the WINDPOWER show, and there were whole categories of businesses that we had not even suspected existed.

Among these was a temporary power niche that (aside from working with events, and emergency applications), enables wind farms to get their systems up, running, and certified before having to actually produce electricity. Aggreko, a Houston-based company with a local service center serving the Chicagoland area, is providing these services to the wind industry, and we spoke with their “Wind Sector Specialist”, Bill Cook, about this part of the renewable energy field:

One of the things that we found interesting about this was that it operates “as needed”, and is not a permanent part of the infrastructure … so almost fits into the “mesh business” model – a resource that is able to be used by many who don’t have to own the specific equipment.

Utilities that manage the grid where wind farms seek connections, often require certification prior to grid operation — an often time consuming and expensive process. To address this issue, [the company’s] innovative solution will establish realistic conditions where the turbines are tested to an agreed upon limit in a field environment prior to initial grid interconnection. This unique offering reduces the time needed to commission wind farms by testing all associated transformers, switchgear and turbines. With the new process, the commissioning is reduced from months to just weeks for a fully compliant wind farm …

It makes one wonder how much other sorts of industrial equipment and systems could be converted over to a operation like this, as certainly the “shared resource” model is a lot Greener than everybody having to have these items “on the books”!

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