Wind turbine technicians are an essential element in supporting CanWEA’s vision of helping Canada to fully realize its abundant wind energy potential on behalf of its members – and for the benefit of all Canadians – to build a cleaner, stronger future. The construction, maintenance and decommissioning of wind energy facilities requires a highly trained and safety-focused workforce. These skills must be taught consistently and with excellence to ensure optimum human performance of operation of equipment in a safe and efficient manner.
Here are some of the diverse jobs needed for wind farms today:
- Wind Turbine Technician – Both electrical and mechanical skills
- Electrician – High and low voltage
- Supervision/Management – For one or multiple wind farms
- Admin/Logistics/Compliance – General administration, supply chain, stock room, regulation compliance, etc.
- Forecasting/Dispatch – Wind power forecasting and grid dispatch response
- Major Component Replacement – Manufacturer or independent service provider for large repairs such as gearbox replacement
- Blade/Composites Technician – Specialized fiberglass/carbon fiber repairs at heights
- Electrical/Project Engineering
- Land remediation – Repair damaged crops/vegetation, service road repairs, etc.
Training this work force for the growing numbers of excellent jobs, and standardizing entry-level training, is a responsibility of all wind energy stakeholders – turbine owners, manufacturers, colleges, service providers, etc.
To enhance training efforts, the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) has partnered with wind industry stakeholders to lay out the Wind Turbine Technician Core Competencies in North America.
The document provides a set of basic, entry level competencies for wind turbine technicians as they embark on a new career. It supports college and contractor training uniformity, experienced workforce skills gap identification and current wind technicians looking to verify their foundational understanding. The wind turbine technician role is critical to the industry and this resource is published in support of a highly competent and safety centric work force.
The document was first published in April 2019 for use by college training providers, independent service providers, wind farm operators, and wind turbine manufacturer service teams. The feedback from this preliminary use was compiled and used to produce this most recent, December 2019, iteration of the core competencies.
CanWEA’s Operations and Maintenance Program Human Relations Committee also initiated a Wind Technician Workforce Survey. The survey was developed to provide data in support of workforce development initiatives. Survey respondents provided key statistics on demographics, recruitment and retention trends at both a moment in time and a leading and lagging three-year time frame. A report was developed based on the survey. To learn more about the report, please contact Phil McKay at firstname.lastname@example.org or read the 2019 Wind Turbine Technician Survey Report – Summary.
Photo by Lee Mann