Focus on the power curve

‘Make the most accurate prediction of next days’ capacity’

Tom Obdam has only been with the team for a short while but he has already found his place at Gemini. He graduated from Eindhoven University of Technology in wind energy and subsequently worked at ECN Offshore Wind and in the Offshore Operations department at Eneco. And now one of his responsibilities is the ‘electricity supply contract’ at this wind park. “Fundamentally, it’s about satisfying our obligation to provide electricity.”

In his profession, Tom Obdam is always focused on tomorrow: “Each day we try to make the most accurate prediction we can of the next day’s capacity of the wind park, and that specified for each hour. The energy we produce is delivered to PZEM in Zeeland. They issue green certificates for the production and then the electricity is sold.” For Tom Obdam and his colleagues, the trick is to estimate the capacity of the park based on expected wind speeds. “How many turbines will be operating, what will be the wind direction and the wind force?. We are continually evaluating and based on that we learn how to explain the deviations that occur. We use data analysis to try to discern which factors influence the actual capacity of the park. This is certainly an art. In the perfect curve, the forecast yield is exactly equal to the actual generated capacity.” Tom maintains close contact with two offshore representatives who are located in the park on a ‘two weeks on, two weeks off’ basis. “They provide me with the most current information, such as which turbines will be disengaged. And we also have to take into account, for example, the campaigns that are necessary for maintenance.”



Tom Obdam, as the asset manager, is also concerned with maintenance contracts. “We conclude these contracts for a longer period of time, but naturally do look at opportunities for improvement and any cost reductions in the intermediate term. Optimisation is the keyword here.”





‘Ultimately, the goal is to bring the experiences from the management phase back to the builders of new parks.’

All aspects relating to maintenance are monitored, even, for example, the performance of the maintenance ship Windea la Cour: “The ship has been in operation for a year now, so we can see how it has fared with, for instance, different wave heights. These are all data, which are becoming available in this – still quickly developing – industry. Eventually, the objective is to pass on the experiences from the management phase to the builders of new parks, so that they will ask themselves at the start: Can we properly maintain it later?”



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