Scottish wind energy firm Gael Energy and Dutch firm Rengineers signed partnership agreement to enter the operations and maintenance market, servicing the UK network of onshore wind turbines across a range of different technologies.
This partnership will allow Gael Energy to support Rengineers in the roll-out of its insurance-backed Garant maintenance contract to wind farm operators across the country. The Garant contract will initially be rolled out in Scotland, supported by Gael Energy from its three nationwide service bases. The contract ensures that all conceivable costs associated with wind turbine maintenance are covered by an annual fixed fee, with loss of earnings for operators compensated in full beyond a 48-hour shut down period.
The partnership will give Gael Energy a significant advantage in the growing market, with long-term service and support contracts on many of the current generation of wind turbines coming to an end, and a market that has huge potential. Currently employing 20 people, the agreement with Rengineers is expected to create up to 15 new jobs at Gael Energy in the coming months, from experienced engineers to apprentices.
UK wind market
The wind energy industry in the UK has been growing steadily over the past decade, with the government setting ambitious targets to increase renewable energy production. In 2019, renewable energy accounted for 36.9% of the country’s electricity generation, with wind energy being the largest contributor at 20.4%. As of 2021, there were over 10,000 onshore wind turbines in the UK, with Scotland having the highest concentration of onshore wind farms.
However, the operations and maintenance market for wind turbines is not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges is the cost of maintenance, which can be significant due to the size and complexity of the turbines. The Garant contract offered by Rengineers aims to address this issue by covering all conceivable costs associated with wind turbine maintenance, making it an attractive option for wind farm operators. Another challenge is the intermittency of wind energy, which can make it difficult to match supply and demand. However, advancements in energy storage technology are helping to mitigate this issue.