Knowledge-Transfer Webinar: Wind Engineering & Systems

The Women in Wind Global Leadership Program conducted its fifth and final Knowledge-Transfer Webinar of 2021 on the topic of “Wind Engineering & Systems” last week. The  webinar was moderated by Christine Lins, Executive Director of GWNET, with two speakers and presenters: Hannele Holttinen, Lead, IEA Wind Task Force 25 and Partner, Recognis; as well as return speaker Angela Lock, General Manager, APAC, Tekmar. 

The webinar began with a big-picture view of integrating VRE (variable renewable energy) like wind power into an energy system, addressing challenges like stability, short-term balancing and long-term balancing. Hannele provided an overview of the experience of wind integration in Europe, moving from the first 10-20% share of wind in the energy system to higher shares of 50%+ in the system, demonstrating the technical capabilities of wind power for grid support, generation flexibility and market value. She also provided an insightful set of issues particular to emerging markets, including transmission buildout, balancing support, and availability of flexibility within country and with neighbouring countries.

The presentations then continued by zooming in on a particular engineering challenge as the wind sector expands: cable protection systems for offshore wind. Angela’s presentation reviewed the general development of cable protection systems, including standardisation and common systems for monopile and jacket applications. New challenges ahead for the segment include increased dynamic loading due to larger turbine foundations, different and challenging environmental conditions as offshore wind is built out in new regions, and warmer waters and higher output cables.

As usual, the webinar included a live Q&A session, where participants asked questions about real-life examples of regularising wind power input to a grid, the opportunities for wind and pumped hydro to enhance flexibility, and the recyclability and lifecycle of cable protection systems.

The speakers also shared their advice on leadership in different cultures and contexts, and the importance of building supportive teams when facing unconscious bias at work. A fitting note to bring the 2021 Knowledge-Transfer Webinars to a close. We look forward to convening the mentees and mentors of 2021 again in January for their virtual Study Tour and Achievement Ceremony.

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