Fifty percent of the students who attended the third and latest edition of the Course of Wind Farms’ O&M Technician by the Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE), which ended last November, are already working in different wind energy companies. The fourth edition begins the 3rd of October.
Fifty five students have already gone through the three editions of the course, which was launched in 2013 with the goal of meeting the needs of companies, providing pupils with a solid theoretical and practical training to operate and maintain wind farms. In Spain, there are 23,000 MW, of which about half will be fifteen years old by 2020. In the world, there are 433,000 MW and, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), this power will double by 2025. Read more
Fabio de la Fuente, a student of the third edition, is an O&M technician in the company ISEG. "In a few months, I have worked in Spain and France and I am expecting an opportunity in the United States. Job possibilities are huge", he says.
The course is divided in three parts. A more generic one, which goes from the components of a wind turbine, basic concepts of the wind resource, construction, installation and commissioning of a wind farm, to SCADA systems. A second one, oriented to Health and Safety (H&S) specific for the industry. And a third one, the largest, which analyses in depth all aspects of preventive, predictive and corrective maintenance of wind farms (see programme).
Ildefonso Árbol, a student of the second edition, is working with the wind turbine manufacturer Vestas in Spain, and says that "the course of AEE has allowed me to renovate, apply and expand my knowledge to a technical field with many job opportunities. It has opened doors and, above all, it has allowed me to get to selection processes with knowledge".
The practical classes are a fundamental part of the course: students spend three days working on the maintenance of wind turbines in different wind farms, and two days of works at heights within the module of H&S. For the first time, in the fourth edition students will work on the repair of components´ failures in the nacelle, that will give them the opportunity to become familiar with elements such as transformers or generators.
Cesar Perez, a student of the third year, works with Vestas in Mexico. He highlights the teachers’ high academic standards and the days of field work in the wind farms, "which helped me to understand what we were taught in the classroom''.
The teachers work at companies or institutions within the wind energy sector (such as Vestas, Gamesa, EDP Renováveis, Enel Green Power, Eolia, Revergy, Tindai, Reinoso Consultors and AEE itself) and have experience as teachers in technical schools, universities and research centres.
At the end of the course, which is taught in Madrid, students get the diploma of O&M Technician of Wind Farms, issued by AEE. Additionally, the students get the Basic Title of Health & Safety and a Certificate of Work at Heights. They have access to wind power´s job listings.
"AEE´s course has been the first step to introduce myself as a professional in the industry," says Juan Luis Flores Arias, a student of the second edition, who works as an Offshore Quality Inspector at Adwen Offshore (Gamesa Group). "It is possible that in a not very far future more professionals will be required in the wind energy sector ".
This year AEE has also launched a new website in which it offers new and renovated contents and facilitates student´s access to information.
The Spanish Wind Energy Association (AEE) is the voice of the wind energy sector in Spain. With more than 160 member companies, it represents 95% of the sector in Spain, it promotes the use of wind energy, and defends the interests of the sector.
To watch the promotional video, click here.