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Meridian Energy Australia and Onyx Insight digitally upgrade Australian wind farm

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Renewable energy company Meridian Energy Australia (MEA) and predictive data analytics company Onyx Insight have installed 35 ecoCMS condition monitoring units across MEA’s 70 MW Mount Millar wind farm in South Australia.
Meridian Energy Australia and Onyx Insight digitally upgrade Australian wind farm
Albany wind farm, Australia. Courtesy of Lawrence Murray.

The project enables MEA to extract valuable insights on its assets’ health and reduce operations & maintenance expenditure. The agreement will unlock a new level of analysis for MEA’s in-house O&M teams. Crucially, the company can bring the Mount Millar project under the scope of its previous Software as a Service partnership with Onyx Insight, using Onyx’s fleetMONITOR platform to monitor turbine health. Digitising more of its assets also allows MEA to expand its predictive maintenance strategy, delivering significant logistical, operational and financial benefits.

Powering Australia’s energy transition means producing clean energy at scale. A modernised, data rich wind fleet will enable wind farm owners in Southern Australia to utilise the state’s significant wind resource efficiently, reducing asset downtime and boosting productivity. As the country’s nascent offshore wind sector gathers momentum, revolutionising O&M strategies using advanced digital tools will be critical in keeping wind energy at the top of investor agendas.

The Mount Millar project is composed of direct drive turbines, which can offer reliability benefits over geared turbine models as they have fewer moving parts. However, to maximise the cost benefits, wind farm owner operators need to eliminate other failure modes, due to the high costs associated with direct drive repairs. By using machine learning algorithms to identify issues before they emerge, predictive maintenance can deliver O&M cost savings of up to 30 percent.

“Arming our engineering teams with strategic insights on asset health means a greater return on investment across our fleet” said Chris Baldwin, Wind Operations Manager, Meridian Energy Australia. “Onyx Insight has been an invaluable partner throughout this process, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with them going forward.”

Hiren Limbachiya, Regional Manager Australia and New Zealand, Onyx Insight, added that Australia is one of the most exciting wind markets in Asia-Pacific, with significant untapped onshore and offshore potential and several large mega-projects in the pipeline.

For additional information:

Onyx Insight

Meridian Energy Australia (MEA)

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