Meridian Energy Australia employs digital tech to monitor 70MW wind farm

Meridian Energy
Image credit: Meridian Energy

Digital solutions firm ONYX Insight is supporting renewables company Meridian Energy Australia to optimise the management, operations, and maintenance of its wind farm in South Australia.

Some 35 ecoCMS sensors have been installed at the 70MW Mount Millar wind farm to provide the energy company with real-time data regarding the performance of the plant.

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, Meridian Energy needed 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 operations and maintenance cost savings of up to 30%, according to Meridian Energy.

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Mount Millar will be monitored as part of a previous software-as-a-service deal between Meridian Energy and ONYX Insight. The fleetMONITOR platform will be used to acquire data from the ecoCMS sensors for processing and management, as well as planning of predictive maintenance strategies.

The project will help Meridian Energy to improve the health and productivity of its system and reduce operations and maintenance costs.

Advanced management of wind energy generation plants through digital solutions will enable renewable energy players to utilise South Australia’s vast wind energy potential, and thereby help the region to accelerate the energy transition, said a Meridian statement. In addition, it increases the appetite of investors to participate in the sector as well as helps plant operators and owners reap the full financial value of their assets.

Chris Baldwin, Wind Operations Manager, Meridian Energy Australia, said: “Arming our engineering teams with strategic insights on asset health means a greater return on investment across our fleet. 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: “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. We are proud to work with the biggest players in the region to deliver more affordable, safer and reliable clear energy.”

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