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geoAMPS helps wind industry meet 'four pillars' to growth

How to build on the past success of the wind industry is a major topic at Windpower 2014, the annual industry conference organized by the American Wind Energy Association(AWEA). This year’s conference is being held in Las Vegas.
Tom Kiernan, AWEA Chief Executive Officer, explained four areas AWEA spearheads and the industry works under in order to increase wind power capacity. The wind industry has set a goal of providing 20 percent of the U.S. energy mix by 2030. Wind currently accounts for 4 percent.

The "four pillars" discussed by Kiernan in his keynote speech to open the conference are: increase demand, reduce costs, address implementation issues and educate leaders.
“All of us at geoAMPS agree with AWEA’s assessment of what the industry needs to focus on to foster growth of this vital energy source,” Yogesh Khandelwal, President and Chief Executive Officer of geoAMPS, said. “geoAMPS joins with the industry by providing software solutions that reduce the cost of producing energy from wind. We are working with industry leaders and experts to constantly enhance our products to keep pace with market needs.”
Efficiencies in wind turbine equipment and development and operation of wind farms play a major role in cutting the cost of windpower. Over the past four years, the cost of wind energy has dropped 43 percent. Kiernan noted that this is proof of wind’s affordability.
Extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) is currently being debated in Congress. Kiernan emphasized the importance of extending the PTC, which he said led to a construction boom of 90 projects currently under construction in 20 states.
Reducing the cost of windpower will go a long way to increasing demand for wind and convincing leaders of its viability in the nation’s energy mix.
altAMPS, one of a suite of software products provided by geoAMPS, is powerful, intuitive software tailor-made for wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and other alternative energy projects through each phase of development, construction and operation. The software is a comprehensive solution for end-to-end management of new or existing alternative energy projects, including wind farms. The altAMPS solution saves on project costs and promotes efficiency. Plus, it is paperless.
altAMPS is filled with time-saving tools, such as lease management, meteorological tower management, royalty payment calculator, bulk update, automatic reminders, payment tracker and scheduler, workflow and import-export capabilities, all of which make this powerful software invaluable for companies involved in renewable energy.
altAMPS’ robust and configurable framework provides compressed sequence times and complies with each organization’s unique business processes. With the added ability to access information through mobile applications, detached tools, geographic information system (GIS) maps and smart devices, altAMPS delivers process efficiency, error elimination and measured cost savings.
A myriad of complex issues factor into the siting of a wind farm and multiple turbines within a wind farm space. altAMPS provides the capability of sorting through these many issues and arriving at the most optimal siting decisions.
Wind energy industry officials report their number one pain point is managing lease and royalty payments. altAMPS automates what can be a time-consuming process, providing the tools needed to help meet these ongoing obligations in an accurate and timely fashion. Tools such as royalty payment calculator, lease management and payment tracker and scheduler make that process more efficient. Tasks that once took several days to complete by utilizing multiple spreadsheets can now be done in minutes with altAMPS.
altAMPS offers GIS mapping capabilities that provide essential information on the project area. The wind company can gather information on each parcel, including ownership and other title information. Obtain a record of topography, existing infrastructure and environmental assessments. Monitor the project area through color-coded maps and layers that provide 3-D visualization.
geoAMPS joined the worldwide community of companies in the Esri Partner Network as a Silver Tier Partner. Esri is the market leader in GIS technology. By becoming a Silver Tier Partner, geoAMPS taps into the Esri Partner Network for technological and marketplace strategies to develop and market geoAMPS business offering built on the Esri software platform.
altAMPS, a web-based software, offers mobile capabilities, making it possible for crews to access the most current information and input updates in the field through a smartphone, computer notebook or laptop. There is a detached application when Internet connectivity is nonexistent or unreliable. The information is synced into the system once a reliable connection is restored.
Improvements in technology are making the development of wind energy more attractive. These advancements are increasing the efficiency of wind farms and driving down the cost of wind energy. Utility companies are signing new contracts for wind power. Hiring by the industry has increased. Collectively, technological improvements helped the industry rebound after squabbles in Washington put the PTC at risk. 
Although technology has outpaced paper records, some organizations still rely upon paper for stored documents and for a record of new tasks associated with the development and ongoing operation of wind farms. That’s an inefficient use of staff, resources and office space. 
Realizing this, many organizations have turned to spreadsheets to maintain company and project information, manage financial records, issue lease and royalty payments, track inspections and manage workflow. Besides being prone to mathematical errors, spreadsheets require a great deal of staff time to update and input information.
After experiencing these limitations, an increasing number of organizations are upgrading their database technology. They are turning to a centralized database and web-based software, like altAMPS, to store, retrieve and update organizational and project information. Such systems are quicker and more efficient. When utilized, they can help advance wind projects through each stage of development and operation. These systems rival efficiencies made possible through advances in turbine equipment. altAMPS can produce project efficiencies an average of 35 percent.
Each organization has its own set of processes that create inefficiencies and hurt the profitability of wind energy projects. In a world of intense competition from a variety of energy industries, despite the increase in new electric capacity from renewable sources, it is imperative that wind energy companies operate as efficiently as possible. That will help the industry meet its goal of 20 percent energy capacity from wind by 2030. 
New advances in equipment accomplish that. So do advances in database and operating systems.
Dan Liggett is Communications and Public Relations Manager of geoAMPS, a technology company in the Columbus, OH, area that specializes in software solutions to manage land rights and infrastructure assets. For more information, call 614-389-4871 or visit
This article also appears in:
Renewable Energy World

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