MAINTENANCE UP TO PAR
We are speaking with Guido de Groot for the second time. The first time, he was still living a very varied life as a client representative: he was monitoring the construction of the wind park, on land as well as on location. Now the title on his business card has changed to Balance of Plant Engineer. That means he is responsible for the maintenance of all the hardware in the park, except for the turbines and the High Voltage Stations. How does he feel about this new job?
Keeping the park in good condition
‘We are securing the value
of the park’
De Groot sketches an average maintenance year at Gemini: “It is divided into three phases – preparation, implementation and analysis. Preparation in the spring, implementation during the months of nice weather from May to the end of August. This occurs in all sorts of ways: under water with remotely-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) but also with specialists who hang in ropes alongside the construction of the OHVS. The rest of the year, we look at how it functions and we all learn from that.” All sorts of issues come up in this phase: “We see that a component is wearing. Is that in line with the expectation given by the manufacturer? Or is something else going on? But we also look at the quantity of sand on top of the export cables, for example. The entire length of cable is checked with a survey and then we can see if any action is required. Certainly in the Wadden area, where we are in a living system with high and low tides, we see all sorts of dynamics at work.” Guido is enthusiastic about the varied work: “Is this work boring? Absolutely not! If we do it well, we are securing the value of the park. The trick is to keep thinking of the proper measures – in that sense, we really are a learning organisation.”
All foundations, cables and jackets that are located in the wind park – up to and including the deposit of stone – form the working grounds for Guido de Groot. His job: the annual check and subsequent maintenance. “I have seen how it has been built, and the trick is to keep it in good condition throughout its entire operation.” In doing so, the key concept in his vocabulary is ‘control’: “We work with all sorts of teams who are responsible for both planned and unplanned maintenance. They must be sent on their way with the proper assignments.
‘The trick is always to come up with the right measures - in
this sense we are really a learning organization.’
And vice versa, the teams must ensure that they do the right job and report back to us properly.” The accent here is increasingly on the first category, says Guido: “The growing pains are over and with them the remedying of the problems we experienced in the first year of operation.”