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This is an excerpt from the Fourth Quarter 2013 edition of the Wind Program R&D Newsletter.

The U.S. Department of Energy Wind Program and Sandia National Laboratories have been working with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Committee on wind turbine availability to develop three specifications for IEC-61400-26—the standard that addresses wind turbine and wind plant availability. The first specification is on the definitions of operating states and availability conditions and was published in 2011. The second specification is on time-based energy production and its scope is to define a methodology for production accounting for differing operational states of a wind turbine, considering internal and external conditions. For example, it will define accounting for potential production, actual production, and lost production with determination and example verification scenarios.  The second specification has been completed and approved and will soon be published. The third specification in this series is for production of a full wind plant, including the balance of systems components of energy collection systems, substation and interconnection, and the human (functional) element of operations and maintenance. Based on the Sandia Continuous Reliability Enhancements for Wind team's observations and experience, common mode failures will affect multiple elements of both the balance of plant and the turbines of the wind power station. Although the balance of plant does not generate power, its failures adversely affect both time and production-based availability. These failures impact the balance of plant's role in electricity transmission and the turbines' dependency on the nonturbine components.

This work will lead to standardized and mandatory reporting metrics for full wind plants when the technical specifications are invoked as a standard and/or requirement. These standards help define requirements to support a clear understanding of contract terms for turbine and wind plant performance. The intention of this technical specification is to define and encourage a common basis in which information on performance indicators can be exchanged among owners, utilities, lenders, operators, manufacturers, consultants, regulatory bodies, certification bodies, insurance companies, and other stakeholders in the wind power generation business. This information exchange is achieved by providing a model that specifies how time designations shall be split into information categories.

For more information on the IEC standards, visit the ANSI Standards Store.