Lowering the Cost of Wind Energy to Replace Coal…

so my future children get Life Extension by breathing clean air!

Today’s guest entry is by Alex Khairallah.

Hello from Buffalo, New York! I’m excited to share my internship experience with Sentient Science. Sentient is a rapidly growing company that uses a small data from material science approach to the “internet of things” to predict when mechanical assets will fail. If you think about it, knowing exactly when something will break down (up to 30 years in advance) can deliver significant operational, asset management and risk management improvements that directly hit the bottom line. The company has captured 10+% global market share in 1.5 years in the wind turbine industry … crazy, right?!

 I chose Sentient for my IMD CEP (Company Engagement Project) because the CEO, Ward Thomas really sold me on a high-impact project in a sector I’m interested in: renewable energy/wind. I’ve been tasked to work with the team to look at some corporate strategy initiatives. Particularly, I’ve been looking at calculating wind turbine economics from the operator’s perspective, quantifying Sentient’s value proposition (today & future vision), and proposing new business models that generate win-win situations for both suppliers and operators. All this is supposed to help the company achieve its main goal for wind farm operators: to reduce the average cost of energy by $10 per MW hour. That’s a reduction in expenses equivalent to 13% of sales, a huge impact for the many low-yielding utilities out there!

 Just as a reflection on IMD’s MBA program structure, I love that we have a CEP. I think it’s a key part to my learning because I’ve also received some great help from some of the other guys in our class (shout out to Joe, Dustin and Jose!) who shared experiences from their careers that gave me business model ideas for my CEP. I’m fully confident that the IMD network, especially our Class of 2016, will always be there to help each other in the years to come.

 I do miss all my classmates but before I know it we’ll all be back in the classroom on August 8th, at 8 AM, with the unlimited coffee and fruits at our disposal. Oh how it’s strange that some of us miss Lorange Auditorium … and definitely the IMD Restaurant. Enjoy summer everyone!