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Nidec SSB Wind Systems in France: Windfair Interview with Jörg Meyer

Nidec SSB Wind Systems is expanding its sales activities on the French market with its new strategic partner Mywindparts. In an interview with Windfair, Nidec SSB Wind Systems Sales Manager Jörg Meyer explains about the cooperation.

Jörg Meyer, Sales Manager at Nidec SSB Wind Systems (Image: Nidec SSB Wind Systems)Jörg Meyer, Sales Manager at Nidec SSB Wind Systems (Image: Nidec SSB Wind Systems)

Windfair: Nidec SSB Wind Systems has just entered into a strategic partnership with Mywindparts, based in France. How did the cooperation come about?

Jörg Meyer: There are around 34-35,000 wind turbines worldwide with installed electrical pitch systems from Nidec SSB Wind Systems. In Europe alone, there are almost 6,000 old turbines, including around 1,200 turbines in France. Some of these turbines are in full maintenance contracts, often directly with the respective OEMs, but there are also many operated by local or larger operators who buy their spare parts from Nidec SSB Wind Systems.

We have come into contact with Mywindparts through repairs and spare parts enquiries. This has resulted in a good cooperation, which has been continuously expanded. Sébastien Duchesne, owner and managing director of Mywindparts, isn't only well connected in the French wind market. He worked for large operators for many years in the run-up to the projects and is particularly familiar with the spare parts and repair market for wind turbines. Mywindparts not only covers the spare parts business for pitch systems, but also the distribution and exchange of large components and other services in the wind energy business. It is easier for Nidec SSB Wind Systems to cooperate with someone who already has very good contacts in a country's wind industry - and who is a native speaker. With Mywindparts we thus have a kind of sales multiplier in France.

And Mywindparts has been interested in a more intense cooperation. The company has access to our complete spare parts and retrofit portfolio because they don't concentrate solely on pitch systems. Standard electrical components can also be supplied from stock at short notice. In addition, MyWindparts has access to our experienced service and engineering personnel if needed.

Windfair: How does the cooperation process look like?

Jörg Meyer: If Mywindparts has received an inquiry regarding components, they will contact us. We will then provide feedback on the availability of the requested components as soon as possible. Depending on the urgency, we will either send the components directly to the customer or to Mywindparts first.

Windfair: Who installs the components?

Jörg Meyer: That's varying. We can manage repairs, component replacement and maintenance with our service personnel of course. In most cases, however, the wind farm operators have their own service teams and thus only procure the spare parts through Mywindparts.

Mywindparts also has its own service team. In most cases, however, the spare parts are provided by Mywindparts and then assembled or installed by external service teams or the customer.

Windfair: You already mentioned the advantages of such a cooperation. Does Nidec SSB Wind Systems have plans to arrange comparable partnerships in other countries, too?

Jörg Meyer: Yes, as far as it makes sense and we can thus expand our sales network and our business sustainably, we are also considering further partnerships.

For us and partners like Mywindparts, it is ultimately a win-win situation: We usually have the spare parts or retrofits available at all times and can deliver quickly. The partner in turn has the necessary network and can access our complete portfolio and partly our logistics. In all such cooperations offer many advantages for the customers.

Nidec SSB Wind Systems offers diverse components (Image: Nidec SSB Wind Systems)

Windfair: So it's the short delivery time that ultimately benefits the customers most?

Jörg Meyer: Yes, exactly. When a wind turbine stands still, every day, every hour counts. It is important that the customer receives the required components immediately.

That's why we always keep certain components in stock, as we know from years of experience which key components are in greater demand. This means that we can deliver at any time, even on weekends by express delivery if the spare parts are urgently needed. This is immensely important for customers, because no money is earned with a turbine not working properly.

Windfair: Can this expansion of business abroad also be seen as a reaction to the currently rather slow German market?

Jörg Meyer: No, because on the one hand we have always been active in international markets and on the other we have always been expanding our services. A good mix of new business and reliable service is crucial, because without new options no service company can develop in the long term.

The turbines that we now supply in France were equipped with our systems years ago. We are certainly observing that the German market is stalling at the moment. As a result, many OEMs are currently becoming more active in countries such as India and South America. Here in Germany, we have to see where the journey is heading. But with topics such as e-mobility and emissions reduction, renewable energies are certainly gaining in importance again.

Windfair: Continuing the operation of older wind turbines is actually a very important topic in German. More and more turbines reach their estimated life span. Is this a trigger to a boom in the spare parts market?

Jörg Meyer: Yes, this is the case already, especially with regard to the lifetime extension of turbines. We are therefore anxious to offer appropriate retrofit solutions with our engineering teams and to expand our portfolio of spare parts accordingly. This means that we not only offer spare parts for our own systems, but also look at how far they are compatible in the multi-brand area.

For example: We have developed change troughs for batteries (see picture on the right) that are compatible with competitor systems. So if a customer has installed various systems from us and our competitors, one of our spare parts is basically enough to equip his entire system portfolio with them.

In addition, we are constantly developing our components, which also includes product optimizations. For example, even an optimized software version for pitch control can, under certain circumstances, generate more revenue. This is particularly interesting for older turbines.

Windfair Staff
Nidec SSB Wind Systems, interview, Windfair, sales manager, spare parts, components, wind turbines, France, Mywindparts

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