GE Signs Support Services Agreement with EDF
GE’s Power Conversion business has signed a framework agreement with EDF EN to provide support services for the converters used in EDF EN’s wind parks throughout Europe.
The service contract will enable the staff of EDF EN Services, EDF Energies Nouvelles’ subsidiary dedicated to the operation and maintenance in Europe, to acquire the skills necessary to maintain and troubleshoot converters with support from GE engineers over the phone — or on-site for complex problems. This will allow EDF EN Services to decrease downtime to maximize production of the wind turbine.
The services offered by GE under the framework agreement include remote service with hotline support, a short departure guarantee for on-site repairs, strategic spare parts and obsolescence management, single contract/single entry point, personnel training (including levels and certification) and contract management. The agreement currently involves several wind farms in Europe.
“Wind turbine converters are complex pieces of technology that are critical to the efficient transmission of energy produced to the grid, and maintaining them has traditionally been very costly. Our aim is to provide customers with the tools and information they need to reduce their operation costs by empowering them to undertake fault remediation internally. In fact, we have found that nine out of 10 calls to our support hotline can be resolved on the phone, saving expensive on-site interventions. The majority of converter issues can be resolved thanks to the training. Hotline and remote service provide an escalation path, and if the problem can’t be fixed over the phone, a GE expert will visit the site to resolve the issue, managing much of the risk,” said John Chatwin, services commercial leader for GE’s Power Conversion business. “In addition, with GE’s global scope, we can offer utilities support virtually anywhere in the world, covering their entire fleet, both onshore and offshore, across Europe and the United States.”
Press release, April 24, 2014; Image: GE