Operational excellence

EDPR is consistently achieving above market net capacity factors and operational metrics in all geographies. This is the result of high performing and experienced teams that have developed solid processes to optimize performance.

Operational excellence is at the core of EDPR, and all technical areas are continuously improving our operations with one clear objective: optimizing performance throughout project life cycle.

Energy assessment

Energy assessment is one of the most critical activities in the wind industry and a major source of concern for many players that have seen their wind power plants yielding lower production than planned.

EDPR has one of the most experienced teams in the industry, including experts with more than 10 years of experience. We conduct our own wind assessment, covering the whole process from supervising met masts installation and maintenance to data filtering, analysis, modelling, evaluation and wind power plant layout. Our experience shows better reliability in actual production than industry figures and independent service providers. Additionally, we interact with the energy markets group to assure the most accurate forecasting in order to reduce deviation costs.

Our professionals constitute a global team which has a local presence in all of our markets to ensure close coordination with local engineering and development teams. The team takes part in the whole value chain of EDPR products which allowed us to reach the highest levels of performance in the industry.

Engineering and construction

Minimizing capex and life-cycle costs is a key priority for EDPR and a key focus area for the Engineering and Construction teams in our platforms.

Project Engineering is essential to design cost-effective wind power plants. EDPR has developed clear engineering standards based on our teams’ extensive experience that guide the design of new power plants. At completion, lessons learned are captured and incorporated to continuously improve our engineering standards and execution of construction. Specific efforts focus on critical elements to continuously optimize future plants designs. Finally, our teams apply their experience to supervise engineering.

Construction projects are awarded through competitive processes to achieve lowest possible costs, awarding civil and electrical engineering, and turbine erection to the best bidders. Our construction managers supervise execution, in-process inspections to assure quality assurance/control (QA/QC) and coordinate project planning to ensure on-time and on-budget project completion.

“EDPR is leveraging its size and global experience to achieve superior operational performance in the wind industry”

Carlos Martin, Head of Corporate Technical Unit

Asset operations

EDPR has achieved one of the highest levels of performance in wind power plant operations in the industry, with availability figures well above 97%, even in older wind power plants or in sites with tougher wind conditions.

This is the result of a comprehensive process to optimize operations that draws on EDPR’s experience and technical knowledge.

At the cornerstone of this process is performance analysis, where EDPR has put in place systems that allow continuous monitoring of performance and identify improvement opportunities. Beyond availability, our technical teams also closely track other metrics such as efficiency, reactive power and scheduling deviation penalties.

Timely implementation of improvement initiatives is ensured by more than 300 highly skilled field operations technicians, who work closely with manufacturers and other service providers to implement solutions quickly and with the highest quality. Field teams also monitor preventive maintenance to ensure quality and minimize long-term failures. Internal issue management systems and our proprietary predictive maintenance tools allow potential failures to be identified before they occur to minimize costs and component damage.

EDPR’s strategy for O&M allows for up to 15% cost reduction in out-of-warranty wind power plant

In parallel with field operations, EDPR evaluates potential innovative enhancements to our currently deployed assets. Power-enhancing retrofits pioneered by EDPR, in collaboration with suppliers and vetted by our engineers for risk control, will increase annual production in some assets by up to 2%.

To support all these activities, EDPR has developed a state of the art remote control infrastructure, the Wind Energy Management System (WEMS). Our 30 supervisors at 3 remote control centers (Porto, Oviedo and Houston) have direct access to more than 5,000 turbines from 11 manufacturers, 200 substations and 250 met masts globally. They have the capability to monitor and control each asset in real-time in order to remotely reset turbines, notify issues
to local teams and respond to the most demanding grid operators requirements. More than 2 million data points are stored every day in a central historical database that is the core of our Operational Performance Management System (OPMS). OPMS will soon drive our performance analysis activities and field operations to the next level of performance.

O&M cost evolution is also a key area of focus for EDPR, especially when initial warranty periods expire. EDPR’s “modular maintenance model” (“M3”) keeps control of high value-added activities such as maintenance planning, logistics and remote control operations while outsourcing under direct supervision people-intensive ones such as field work. Service contracts are awarded through competitive processes where the O&M model (e.g., outsourcing vs. M3) is defined case by case through a risk-return analysis. Our experience shows this strategy will allow EDPR to reduce O&M costs at post-warranty wind power plants by as much as 15%.

Since large component failures are a major driver of future costs, special attention is paid to optimizing maintenance and the cost and time of replacements. The process starts before end-of-warranty, by monitoring for potential serial defects, conducting QA/QC reviews of preventive maintenance and running thorough end-of-warranty inspections. Predictive maintenance tools and our internal maintenance management system (CMMS) allow the reduction of downtime by better planning field activities and reducing damage, while our own logistics, direct sourcing and certified repair shops facilitate keeping costs under control. Failure rates of more sensitive components such as gearboxes and generators remain on average below 2% per year even in older wind power plants (5-12 years old).

“Operational excellence is the result of a comprehensive process to optimize operations that draws on EDPR’s experience and technical knowledge”

EDPR employee