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Transforming Wind Power Through New Manufacturing Value Chain Efficiencies

Manufacturing Strategies for Lowering Wind Power Costs

If wind power is to compete with fossil fuels and grow beyond its current six percent share of the nation’s generating capacity, then driving down the cost of bringing wind turbines to market is an industry imperative.

Cost-cutting measures tend to concentrate on the wind turbine, which typically represent between 55-70 percent of the total cost of an installed system, yet a key to lowering costs is innovation in the assembly process. Wind turbine companies are achieving lower costs by shifting assembly closer to the demand site to minimize soaring transportation fees, which by some estimates, can add 10-15 percent to the cost basis of a wind farm project.

Bringing these costs under control requires sophisticated logistics, a tightly knit supply chain and relationships with component manufacturing partners that have the geographical reach to deliver products and provide services where they are needed.

Ramesh Saligamé, Director of Strategy for Jabil’s Industrial & Energy division examines these matters in the September issue of Wind Systems Magazine. In his article, Transforming Wind Power Through New Manufacturing Value Chain Efficiencies, Saligame discusses the following:

  • How supply chain management can influence the costs of turbine components significantly
  • Why today’s splintered value chain adds overhead through the duplication of purchasing and planning services
  • How supply-and-demand imbalances produce excess inventory in the pipeline

Why the entire value chain should model variables that include lead times, minimum order quantities and assembly times.

Click here to read the entire article on the Wind Systems Magazine website.

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