Sizing-up Risk in the New Era of Supersized Wind Turbine Technology
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Non-Member Pricing: $79
Turbine bankability is a critical driver for overall wind project financability, and assessment of technology risk based on design, certification, and track record have long been integral to the financing process. The pace of innovation and introduction of new turbine models, however, are stressing the ability of traditional methodology to address this crucial component of wind project diligence. Turbine designs are now making revolutionary leaps in terms of rotor diameter, rated capacity, major component design and controls, diverging notably from proven technology. These new designs, including two-piece blades, medium speed drive train concept or super-tall towers — already entering or poised to enter the market in the near term as the industry seeks to maximize remaining horizon on the PTC — have not accrued significant operating track record. The confluence of these factors yields an acute conundrum for investors: how to invest in competitive projects which leverage the advantages of the newest technology, while taking a realistic view of technology risk and associated impacts within the financing structure? DNV GL’s methodology for classifying turbines as proven, qualified, or unproven has long been a de facto industry standard: in this presentation, DNV GL will discuss the application of this methodology in this new era of turbine technology. DNV GL will further relate this to financing risk in the current US wind industry, and discuss risk mitigation measures that may be implemented by turbine manufacturers, project proponents, and investors.
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