Mastering Wind Power

The Essential Business Guide for Commercially-focused Stakeholders

Do you need a comprehensive view of how the business of wind power works?

A comprehensive, up-to-date and business-focused roadmap to success in delivering wind power growth, today and tomorrow.

Attendees will leave with an excellent understanding of all the key factors facing wind power developers and investors, from resource assessment and energy production complexities, through project development and planning challenges, to financial returns and risks.

The course schedule is designed to be highly participative, including time to work in groups to apply and illustrate the learning points throughout the course. To do so, attendees will utilise online tools, wind resource datasets, energy yield, financial and other simple calculations, along with structured discussions on key planning and market environment considerations.

In keeping with the business-focused theme of the course, these illustrative exercises are designed to provide time-efficient clarification of the key course takeaways, aimed at commercially-focused business developers and investors. They are therefore deliberately made accessible to non-experts, not designed to replicate the complex or in-depth detailed planning undertaken – over much longer periods! – by experienced engineers and technical teams.


* Wind resource assessment exercise *

* Stakeholder management and site selection discussion *

* Trends and upcoming business-changing technology reviews *

* Financial and cash-flow analysis exercises *

Summary & key features

The course is designed to provide a clear, independent, business-focused introduction to the subject in language suited to non-engineers; particularly senior, commercial executives, investors and policymakers. No prior knowledge is assumed or required. Along with presented core information, you’ll examine examples from around the world, discuss market analysis variables and quantify key issues using simple numerical calculations and Excel-based tools.

Interactive group-work activity provides extended time to get hands-on with financial analysis and other practical tools in order to better understand and discuss the business of wind power project development.

Top Learning Outcomes:

  • Learn from global experiences in wind power project development
  • Understand the unique properties of the wind resource, and how these feed into financial risk analysis
  • Gain a business-focused, up-to-date perspective on current and emerging wind technology innovations and project delivery best practices
  • Analyse and discuss practical and project delivery risks facing wind power projects, including key stakeholder engagements
  • Get hands-on with a financial model to better understand financial risks and returns for wind power projects
  • Compare and contrast the unique extra costs and complexities of offshore wind projects with those onshore

Who should attend?

This course is ideal for you if:

  1. You are working within the power sector in a commercial or business development role. You need a clearly-explained, multi-faceted understanding of how wind power projects are developed and why and how they succeed (or fail), including how market and technology changes are driving new innovation opportunities along with new competitive risks.
  1. You are from the investment, policy or professional services community. You need to embrace the growth of wind energy, and want to gain an independent perspective on the economic environment in which these projects operate, including the development, operational and business risks that most matter to them.

Course Takeaways

  • Presentation slides (pdf provided – hard copy at cost, on request)
  • Certificate of attendance (pdf provided – hard copy at cost, on request)
  • Copies of all examples, models and numerical calculations used during the course
  • Further reading (numerous reports, whitepapers and other materials)
Agenda details

A full 3-day agenda is outlined below, covering both on- and off-shore wind; contact to discuss abridged or customised options.


Wind resources, conversion technologies and energy outputs

Understanding the wind resource

  • Wind speed maps and preliminary assessment resources: illustration using an online wind resource map example
  • Understanding additional complexity in wind resource: the impacts of height, shear, turbulence, direction, humidity and other factors
  • Technologies and requirements for bankable wind resource assessment (WRA) campaigns
  • Wind speed distribution and its importance: illustration using a real wind speed dataset

From wind to electricity: wind turbine technology

  • What’s in a wind turbine: a review of the key components and technology trends (including blades, drivetrains and generators)
  • Drivers for – and constraints on – bigger turbine sizes
  • Understanding ‘power curves’ and their impact on turbine selection and capacity factor
  • Examining the key data from wind turbine specifications: case study of a modern 7MW wind turbine
  • Where will continued cost reductions come from?


Wind resource assessment and annual energy output

  • Combining a real wind speed dataset and turbine power curves to calculate annual energy output (AEP)
  • Understanding and applying resource uncertainty to AEP outcomes: analysis of exceedance probabilities (‘P50’, ‘P90’ etc.)
  • Assessing other uncertainties and risks to the expected AEP.
  • These exercises all make use of simple modelling in Excel (provided)

Energy output variables and risks

  • Wind farm layout and energy losses, such as ‘wake effects’ (illustrated with a European wind farm case study)
  • Availability losses vs. turbine performance losses
  • Solutions to extreme operating conditions, including cyclones and low temperatures
  • External constraints including curtailment, grid connection and market integration; plus solutions (examples from Germany, China and Vietnam)

DAY 2:

Successful delivery of wind power projects

Project delivery processes and timeframes

  • Defining the stages and likely timescales for wind farms from development to operation: including case study projects from Australia and southeast Asia
  • Environmental and social impact studies: contents and outcomes (including case study from a wind project in India)
  • Land use challenges and site selection criteria
  • The key aspects of planning and contracting issues around the grid connection
  • Planning and permitting risk assessment (a risk mapping illustration)


Stakeholder engagement and site selection

  • Stakeholder identification, mapping and prioritising
  • What to look for in the physical attributes of a site and its surrounds
  • Comparing and contrasting project planning, permitting, construction and operating risks at different sites
  • This exercise is undertaken using provided site data and descriptions

Taking wind offshore: the unique practical differences

  • Development studies including seabed environmental, geotechnical and right-of-way data
  • Offshore grid and cabling, for both inter-array and export connections (case studies of offshore cabling design and processes in Europe)
  • The onshore element of an offshore wind farm (including permitting risk case study from the UK)
  • Offshore wind foundations: their construction, costs and selection criteria (illustrated using examples from European wind farms)
  • O&M offshore, including technology innovations and operational best practices to reduce costs
  • Analysing the potentially disruptive impact of floating turbines on the offshore wind business


Contrasting and assessing on- vs. offshore wind market development opportunities

  • Reviewing world markets for onshore and offshore wind (including growth trends): using provided data
  • Creating a set of market assessment criteria for the identification of long-term wind growth opportunities
  • Identifying political and socioeconomic drivers for wind power investment support
  • Risk mapping for wind project development under different market circumstances

DAY 3:

Making money from wind power projects

Identifying the key business case considerations

  • Reviewing the cash flow and risk/return variables behind a successful wind power project business case
  • Quantifying the current status and variability of installed cost estimates and cost structure details in wind power projects: illustrated by using and comparing two different, recent datasets; one for worldwide and one for US projects
  • Identifying key financial risk considerations at different stages during the project lifetime
  • How project development and policy can reduce financial risks
  • New channels to markets, including corporate PPAs: case studies from Europe and Australia

Understanding the market value of wind-generated electricity

  • Levelised costs (LCOE), marginal costs, long-term costs and the impact of wind on ‘merit order’ pricing
  • LCOE calculations and their limitations: when they should and shouldn’t be used
  • Curtailment, negative prices and the myth of “free wind electricity”
  • The risks facing ‘merchant’ (market-facing) wind power projects
  • The importance of understanding cost and price dynamics, even in markets without traded electricity markets


Financial analysis of wind power projects

  • An example operating cash flow and returns analysis for wind power projects (Excel sheet provided)
  • Examining the impact of different sources and costs of finance, and their impact on wind energy price competitiveness, illustrated using examples of financing cost variation for wind between European markets
  • Resource uncertainty and risk: how the findings from day one feed into the financial model and its return expectations
  • Assessing wind prices in competitive auctions: case studies of winning offshore wind bidders in Europe and Tawian

Looking ahead: new technologies and trends for the optimisation of wind power project profitability

  • The growth of hybrid projects (wind plus solar and/or storage), including examples from India and the US
  • Enablers for wind power projects to participate in grid services markets, including examples from Europe
  • Potential technology disruptors, including innovative and smaller-scale turbine designs
  • Assessing the relevance of emerging innovations to wind power projects today

NOTE: Market examples are highlighted and discussed throughout this course to illustrate the various learning points and show that the content is based on market reality, not just theory.

In order to stay current in a fast-moving market, examples and case studies are updated on a continuous basis (often right up to the day of the course), so may vary from the published agenda.

Availability & inquiries

Training for your company:

  • The course can be delivered to small groups at your company premises or other preferred venue
  • Pricing is on a transparent day-rate basis, according to location (inquire below)
  • The agenda above is the recommended “off-the-shelf” agenda, but limited customisation is possible (inquire below)

Training for individuals:

  • Grey Cells Energy does not organise open/public courses itself, but instead partners with 3rd-party specialist event organisers. Contact or inquire below for the latest calendar dates.
  • If you are interested in remote one-to-one learning, inquire below.

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