Houston, TX, June 3, 2008 — American Electric Technologies Inc. (AETI) announced its formal entry into the wind power market at the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2008 conference. The company also released results from a survey they sponsored about the wind energy industry’s perceptions about the state of its electrical infrastructure and offered advice to overcome risks associated with a wind farm’s sub-optimal electric infrastructure.
During the conference, the company presented the key survey findings of the AETI-sponsored electrical infrastructure perception and risks survey. The survey polled AWEA members including wind farm developers, owner/operators, engineering and consulting firms, and other wind professionals. Survey respondents reported the following industry perceptions:
* 91 percent understood the importance of a wind farm’s electrical distribution system by ranking it as “critical” or “important” to the industry’s success.
* Respondents ranked the top three industry challenges as: transmission line availability, grid connection issues, and keeping up with growth and demand.
* Reliability, power output capacity and operational/maintenance costs topped the three most important concerns of a wind farm’s electrical infrastructure, with reliability and power output capacity ranking highest on the concern list.
* 67 percent were unsure or thought there wasn’t sufficient expertise available in the industry to provide quality electrical infrastructure solutions.
* 60 percent didn’t know if they were using converter/inverter technology on their wind projects.
* More than 75 percent admitted that more education is needed when it comes to the importance of power distribution systems to the industry.
* 65 percent understood the requirement for offshore power experience as “critical” or “important” when considering the development of offshore wind farm electrical distribution projects.
AETI indicated five out of six of the industry’s top challenges or concerns about Balance of Plant (BoP) electrical infrastructure directly tie back to the implementation of efficient power distribution solutions and expertise outside of the wind turbine. The company also advised the industry that focusing on electrical infrastructure education and training will be critical going forward, and recommended developers ensure the same level of project planning and focus is given to the BoP electrical infrastructure as is given to the wind turbines.
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