Up to one third of the total cost of energy from offshore wind generation is contributed by operation and maintenance (O&M). Compared to its onshore counterpart, this fraction is significantly higher. Costs are not only caused by spare-parts and repair actions, but also by production losses due to downtime.
The main objectives of the Operation and Maintenance strategy are typically:
- Maximize return on investment by:
- Achieve optimal production
- Minimize repair costs
- Comply with regulations
- Ensure healthy and safe operation and minimize negative environmental impact
- Manage the wind power plant business
Preparing the O&M strategy lays a basis (base case) for preparation and financial analysis, which in a later stage will allow further optimization of the business case. During the engineering and permitting phase and following contracting phase, the O&M Strategy is worked out in more detail to provide a complete document covering the full strategy of the O&M for the offshore wind farm.
The correct O&M strategy and optimization programme will result in substantial cost reduction and/or increased profits for the offshore wind projects.
Strategic Operation & Maintenance Optimisation Simulation (SOMOS) is a simulation model that provides insights in the estimated future wind farm operational & maintenance (O&M) Costs. The main benefit, is that it supports in optimising the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) by defining and comparing different operational strategies. The model assists in identifying main cost drivers and consequential effects in a robust manner. This also provides cash flow forecasts and provides realistic time variable input to the financial model.
It has been developed by combining years of experience from operations, maintenance, performance monitoring, and wind farm development. During the modelling selected scenarios are analysed to simulate the real world as precisely as possible. It is based on Monte Carlo Simulations, combining several probability distributions: chance of failures, wind and wave statistics, vessel availability. This is combined with strategic choices that are made in the project: WTG model, spare parts, vessel type, crew size, working hours etc.
Based on a specific set of inputs, SOMOS performs a multiple number of iterations which lead to the final O&M cost estimation. Furthermore, SOMOS is able to perform sensitivity analyses in order to identify the parameters needed to be modified in order to achieve optimal performance while reducing maintenance cost.
The main advantages provided by SOMOS are:
- Increased IRR: pptimize OPEX v.s. production and revenues
- Improved Risk mangament: identify key risks and cost drivers
- Improved Cash flow Forecast: time based OPEX and revenues
- Benchmarking: strategy comparison