Meridian Energy Australia (MEA), a passionate player in renewable energy generation, and ONYX Insight, a leading provider of predictive data analytics and engineering expertise to the global wind industry, have installed 35 ecoCMS condition monitoring units across MEA’s 70MW Mount Millar wind farm in South Australia. This project enables MEA to extract valuable insights on its assets’ health and reduce operations & maintenance expenditure.

Powering Australia’s energy transition means producing clean energy at scale. A modernised, data rich wind fleet will enable wind farm owners in Southern Australia to utilise the state’s significant wind resource efficiently, reducing asset downtime and boosting productivity. As the country’s nascent offshore wind sector gathers momentum, revolutionising O&M strategies using advanced digital tools will be critical in keeping wind energy at the top of investor agendas.

The agreement will unlock a new level of analysis for MEA’s in-house O&M teams. Crucially, the business can bring the Mount Millar project under the scope of its previous Software as a Service partnership with ONYX Insight, using ONYX’s fleetMONITOR platform to monitor turbine health. Digitising more of its assets also allows MEA to expand its predictive maintenance strategy, delivering significant logistical, operational and financial benefits.

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, wind farm owner operators need 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 O&M cost savings of up to 30%.

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, concluded: “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.”

Meridian Energy Australia (MEA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Meridian Energy Ltd (Australasia’s largest 100% renewable energy generator and listed on both the NZX and ASX). MEA owns and operates two wind farms and three hydro power stations in Australia, with MEA’s two wind farms being GreenPower accredited and supporting employment in regional areas. Meridian Energy retail arm, Powershop, was the first energy retailer to be certified 100% carbon neutral by Climate Active and has around 180,000 electricity and gas customers in Victoria, New South Wales and South East Queensland.