The Operation Development, Innovation and Others segment brings together all of the various activities aimed at improving the operating profit margin after commissioning a wind farm or solar park. This includes, in particular, operational management of wind farms (technical and commercial) and direct marketing of the electricity generated in these farms as well as all activities aimed at reducing costs, extending service life and increasing yields to optimise the income from wind turbines. Such measures include:
- rotor blade extension and improving blade aerodynamics
– updates in the turbine control systems or exchanging old for new, modern control systems
– more exact yawing systems and enhancing generator performance
– reducing failure rates by preventive maintenance measures
– reducing downtimes by equipping all wind farms with continuous condition monitoring with an automated workflow for fault clearance
– consistently reducing the levelized cost of electricity of existing wind farms
Regardless of whether the developed projects are sold or included in the Group's portfolio, Energiekontor typically assumes responsibility for commercial and technical operational management, thus generating an ongoing cash flow for the Company.
Commercial activities include, in particular, predictive liquidity management, settling accounts with the energy supplier, the service / maintenance companies and the facility lessors as well as optimising long-term profitability. Other activities include communicating with banks, insurance companies, tax advisors and investors as well as accounting in connection with feed-in management either via the flat rate or the peak load procedure.
Apart from wind turbine monitoring and data reporting and analysis, the technical services rendered by Energiekontor mostly involve the coordination of repairs and servicing teams working on-site, as well as the planning and implementation of preventive maintenance work. This preventive maintenance work can substantially extend the service life of both individual turbines and the overall site, while simultaneously lowering the costs of repairing primary components. The main objective is to maximise the availability and yields of turbines and to ensure reliable operation throughout their useful lives. Therefore, real-time data and automated workflows are used to monitor the turbines 24 / 7. Moreover, we assume responsibility for the turbines and guarantee legally sound operation of the wind farm by ensuring compliance with all the legal requirements.
Technical innovations such as rotor blade extension also form part of the activities aimed at optimising performance, yield and cost savings. This extension process invented and patented by Energiekontor is a technique for lengthening the rotor diameter that has now been tested and implemented successfully in the field for some years.
While the company does not conduct R&D in the conventional sense of the term, the various activities handled by the Operation Development, Innovation and Others division are, on the whole, nonetheless designed to improve the operational performance and efficiency of wind farms and solar parks. Besides the repowering of Group-owned wind farms or preventive turbine maintenance, this also refers to technological innovations such as rotor blade extension and optimising blade aerodynamics.