AWEA Wind Project O&M and Safety Conference

January 21, 2020

February 26 - 27, 2020
Hotel Del Coronado | Coronado, CA 

The Wind Project O&M and Safety Conference is the largest gathering of the U.S. Operating wind industry and stakeholders. They come together to share the best strategies to manage wind project assets, analyze the environmental, health, and safety challenges workers face, learn about the future of the U.S. O&M market, and network with top asset managers, OEMs, and vendors.

At this year’s conference a team of Intertek experts will be presenting and exhibiting at booth #139.

Intertek provides Wind Power Industry Asset Management including:

  • Due diligence - technical & financial
  • Aware™ asset management software 
  • Predictive analytics & survival analysis 
  • Failure analysis, prevention & remediation
  • Fire damage investigation & forensics 
  • Condition assessment
  • NDE & UAV inspection
  • Expert witness & RCA
  • Offshore – geotechnical assessment & site feasibility

We hope to see you at the show, visit us at booth #139

To set up a meeting email:

Intertek's engineering experts will be presenting: 

Onshore Wind Energy O&M Cost Trend & Forecast

Date: Thursday February 27, 2020
Time: 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM

Author: Nikhil Kumar

The North American wind turbine fleet is aging, with the average age of installed capacity rising from 8 years in 2020, to 14 years in 2030. As these assets age, the O&M spend trends higher to maintain reliability to mitigate operational wear & tear, and equipment aging effects. In our experience, reactive maintenance is still extremely prevalent, resulting in downtime and expensive repairs and replacements. As operators transition from OEM service contracts to self performance, new challenges have emerged, as operators understand their assets. This presentation utilizes historical data from actual utility-scale projects, utilities commission filings, including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filings to illustrate recent O&M trends. Additionally, relying on market data and forecasting models, we estimate both short term and long term wind energy O&M cost trends and drivers.


Panel Discussion: Shifting Winds for Wind Project Operations – An Owner’s Perspective

Presenter: Nikhil Kumar 

With the growing number of renewable assets installed in the U.S. and the ever-changing policy and regulatory landscape, owner operators are constantly strategizing on the most cost-effective ways to maintain operational excellence.

This final session of the conference will kick off with an outlook on O&M market opportunities, including repowering and cost trends. A panel of key industry leaders and owner operators will give their assessment of these outlooks and discuss strategies and solutions to tackle these emerging O&M and safety issues, like workforce development and innovations in technology.

Application of Risk-Based Inspection Methods to Wind Quality Assurance

Date: Thursday February 27, 2020
Time: 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Author: Rachel Wittman

One well-known challenge of wind turbine maintenance and quality assurance is the difficulty and costliness of inspection. Due to the nascent nature of the industry and a general lack of knowledge surrounding failure mechanisms and probabilities, additional tools are desired to help owners and operators optimize inspection procedures. This talk explores risk-based inspection (RBI) and its application to the wind industry. Risk-based inspection, while typically utilized in the fossil fuel generation and petrochemical industries, can be modified to apply to wind turbine generators to help owners and operators make sound decisions regarding what to inspect, how often to inspect it, and what inspection methods to utilize.


Importance of Failure Analysis and Root Cause Analysis Following Hazard Incidents

Author: John Hasier 

In the power generation industry where up time is money and equipment reliability is challenging and not well-studied, temptations abound to replace failed equipment quickly and save money by using best-guesses to reduce future failures. This talk provides case studies of failure analysis and root cause analysis that demonstrate the benefits of conducting full investigations following hazard incidents that could lead to safety risks.


Poster Presentation: Slight Breaks, Major Headaches: Wind Energy Converter Failure Analysis Vignettes

Author: Rachel Wittman

A series of short case studies will be presented to highlight the pains experienced in wind energy infrastructure. The complex interconnection of structural, electrical, and mechanical components present in a horizontal axis wind turbine are subject to a myriad of operational and environmental conditions leading to mundane and exotic failures. From the tip of the blade to the tower base bolts this series highlights failure issues unique to wind energy converters. Stories from crib death to extended life provide unique insight to aid operators in maintaining wind asset integrity into the future. 

About our Speakers 

Nikhil Kumar
Managing Director and Principal Engineer

Mr. Kumar is an internationally recognized expert in power plant cost of cycling analysis, power generation reliability, risk assessment, and economic analysis. He is an engineering economist with extensive experience providing research and consulting services to electric utilities, merchant power plants, legal firms, national laboratories, system operators and government agencies.  Mr. Kumar has published several technical papers and has taught courses on Power Plant Cycling, Reliability and Asset Management in multiple countries. Recent work includes project management and litigation support in utility power plant legal and public utilities commission cases; construction supervision for new power plants; root cause investigations of power generation equipment; developing predictive maintenance programs and implementing real-time online life assessment systems. 

Rachel Wittman
Failure Analyst

Ms. Rachel Wittman has experience in metallurgical, mechanical, and environmental engineering and field metallographic and nondestructive examination techniques. Over her career, she has completed a number of failure investigations in the renewable energy, power generation, and petrochemical industries. Ms. Wittman’s recent work includes technical and financial due diligence of wind assets, risk-based inspection plan and equipment assessment for explosive chemical manufacturing facility, failure investigations for wind turbine components, and replication of a 25-year-old extensive remaining useful life assessment of high energy piping. Ms. Wittman earned her B.S. in Environmental Engineering from the California Institute of Technology and her M.S. in Sustainable Energy from Santa Clara University.

John Hasier

Dr. Hasier earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he gained experience as a Metallurgical Research Engineer. Other experience includes mechanical testing (tensile, compression, bending, fatigue, creep, hardness, toughness), thermomechanical process simulation (Gleeble System), cryogenic, high pressure, and high temperature systems, and electrochemical testing of energy storage materials. Dr. Hasier’s recent work and experience include but are not limited to high energy piping inspection failure analysis, wind energy converter failure analysis, and semiconductor failure analysis.  Study of ferrous and nonferrous structural materials, hands on corrosion and mechanical testing and double aging of 6000 and 7000 series aluminum alloys. Design, preparation, heat treatment, characterization, and assay of alloys.