Health and safety and workforce development also a key focus
TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2018 /CNW/ - Untapped opportunities for Canada's expanding wind energy industry to enhance grid reliability and add value for consumers in the shift to a low-carbon future were in the spotlight as more than 230 wind energy professionals attended the Canadian Wind Energy Association's (CanWEA) fourth annual and largest-ever Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Summit, held January 30-31 at the Hilton Mississauga.
The summit brought owners, operators, manufacturers and service providers together to discuss operations issues in the world's ninth largest wind energy fleet, and explore innovative tools and techniques to increase efficiencies, drive down costs, and unlock the technical potential of modern wind power facilities.
With wind farm operators and turbine technicians active at 295 wind farms across Canada, workforce development and a range of health and safety best practices in areas like electrical safety, fall arrest equipment, up-tower rescues, confined spaces and ergonomics were on the summit agenda. Data-driven maintenance strategies, emerging technologies and service offerings, icing challenges, and repowering opportunities were also key topics discussed by the summit's line up of expert speakers from across North America.
A highlight of the event was the presentation of two new CanWEA awards, recognizing excellence in health and safety and innovative approaches to O&M. Cartier Énergie Éolienne took home the inaugural Health and Safety Excellence Award, while LiftWerx won CanWEA's first O&M Outstanding Achievement Award.
This year's summit also featured an expanded exhibition showcasing leading companies in Canada's growing wind energy O&M market.
"Electricity markets across Canada are evolving as they adapt to rapid technology change and the increasing emphasis on clean growth, and wind farm operations need to evolve as well. The discussion at CanWEA's O&M Summit made it clear that new challenges and opportunities are presenting themselves and our rapidly maturing industry is taking steps to meet them head on. We can contribute to the services grid operators require, in addition to the low-cost, emissions-free energy consumers want."
- Phil McKay, Operations and Maintenance Program Director, Canadian Wind Energy Association
"Wind energy has been the leading source of new electricity generation in Canada for more than a decade and today wind energy is the lowest-cost source of non-emitting generation available in Canada. As a mainstream player in the power sector, our industry is committed to setting a strong example for effective, efficient and safe operations. CanWEA's 2018 O&M Summit gave operators, manufacturers and service providers a chance to work collaboratively to meet that goal, by sharing information and expertise, developing solutions to current challenges, and looking ahead to the needs of the electricity grid of the future."
- Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association
"Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy is pleased to be the title sponsor of this year's CanWEA O&M Summit. Our industry has made great strides focusing on safety while continuously reducing the levelized cost of energy. We maintain a safe working environment while improving productivity, extending project life spans, and creating new value for wind farm owners and operators."
- Paul Van der Weg, Operations Manager for Canada, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy
"As wind energy safety specialists, Team-1 Academy has made exhibiting at CanWEA's O&M Summit a priority. It gives us an unparalleled opportunity to connect with existing and new clients, and just as importantly, it allows us to find out what products and services the industry needs from us as it grows and matures."
- Scott R. Connor, PresidentTeam-1 Academy
- CanWEA received 17 nominations for the two new O&M awards presented at this year's summit, demonstrating the commitment member companies have made to health and safety and industry-leading O&M. A blog by CanWEA's Phil McKay provides more information on the finalists for the Health and Safety Excellence Award and Outstanding O&M Achievement Award.
- Canada has more than 12,200 MW of installed wind generating capacity, which is the ninth largest wind energy fleet in the world. There are currently more than 6,400 turbines installed at 295 wind facilities across the country. To learn more, please visit the Wind Markets section of CanWEA's website.
- The O&M Summit program was developed with the input of some of Canada's largest wind operators and equipment suppliers.
- Canada's O&M market is expected to nearly double to $450 million in annual spending by 2020, bringing new jobs and investment. To learn more about CanWEA's O&M program, which responds to this opportunity, and how to participate please visit the O&M section of CanWEA's website.
About the Canadian Wind Energy Association
CanWEA is the voice of Canada's wind energy industry, actively promoting the responsible and sustainable growth of wind energy. A national non-profit association, CanWEA serves as Canada's leading source of credible information about wind energy and its social, economic and environmental benefits. Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Learn more at canwea.ca.
SOURCE Canadian Wind Energy Association
For further information: or for interview opportunities, please contact: Lejla Latifovic, Senior Communications Advisor, Canadian Wind Energy Association, 613-234-8716 x 241 or 1-800-922-6932 x 241, [email protected]