Wind turbines typically cost around $1 million to $4 million for each MW of power. Large-scale offshore wind turbines can cost millions of dollars. The biggest wind turbine that has been built so far is capable of producing 12 megawatts, and costs around $400 million to manufacture and install.
A residential wind system can be rated at up to 100 kilowatts. Small roof-mounted systems, which are usually less expensive, can cost around $3,000. Free-standing systems, which are usually more expensive, can produce enough energy to power a home. This can cost up to $80,000 or more.
Cost to build wind power plant
Wind turbines are expensive, but they’re built to last for a long time and can be recouped through the electricity they produce. This is because they don’t require any inputs, unlike fossil fuels. Despite their high initial costs, wind power is still in its infancy.
The mass production of wind turbines has only been around for about a decade. Manufacturers are still learning how to make the most of their materials and how to prolong the lifespan of their turbines. The price of copper and steel, which are raw materials, can also affect the initial cost.
The location of a wind farm also affects the cost of building a wind power plant. Since the availability of certain materials and the labor force can make or break a wind farm, it’s important to factor in government incentives, taxes, and tariffs.
Residential Wind Turbines Cost
Due to the increasing popularity of residential wind turbines, the energy bill for many people has decreased. Although these small wind systems don’t produce much energy, they can still lower one’s overall energy bill. There are two types of wind systems: free-standing and roof-mounted. Free-standing systems can be more expensive, but they can still power a home.
Unlike solar panels, residential wind systems require specialized equipment such as batteries and inverters. This can significantly increase their initial cost. If you have the necessary skills and know how to install a wind system yourself, you can still save money. In the US, there are various government incentives for homeowners who install wind power systems (30% renewable energy tax credit).
Free-Standing Wind Turbines
Although free-standing wind turbines provide more energy than their larger counterparts, they’re still more expensive. A small 10 kilowatt system can cost around $50,000 to $80,000, and a larger 15 kilowatt system can cost over $100,000. With a larger 15 kilowatt system, one can expect to produce around 36,000 kilowatt hours annually.
A free-standing wind turbine with a capacity of up to 100 kilowatts can be used for commercial purposes. Depending on the type of wind turbine, the cost of a 50 kilowatt to 100 kilowatt system can range from $500,000 to a million.
Roof Mounted Wind Turbines
If your roof is high enough to allow high-altitude winds, then you might want to consider installing a roof-mounted wind turbine. These type of wind turbines are usually rated at around 0.5 to 2.5 kilowatts. Depending on the quality and capacity of the components, roof-mounted wind turbines typically cost around $3,000.
Although roof-mounted wind turbines can provide energy to supplement your home’s energy needs, they won’t power it all. A 1.5 kilowatt wind turbine can produce around 2,500 kilowatt hours annually, which is about 25% of your home’s energy needs.
Residential Wind Turbines Maintenance
Although wind turbines are generally built to last for around two decades, they still need to be regularly cleaned and maintained. Free-standing systems typically cost thousands of dollars annually to maintain. On the other hand, roof-mounted wind turbines require only a few hundred dollars in annual maintenance.
Industrial Wind Turbines Cost
For offshore and onshore wind farms, large wind turbines with a capacity of up to 12 megawatts can produce electricity at a rate of 2 to 3 megawatts. These types of turbines are typically expensive. The average cost of a wind turbine can range from around $2.5 million to $4 million.
The most powerful wind turbine that can produce 12 megawatts of electricity costs around $400 million to build and install. Aside from the manufacturing and installation of the equipment, other factors such as transport and maintenance are also involved in the operation and maintenance of wind turbines.
Researchers are constantly looking for ways to reduce the cost of wind turbines by developing new materials that can improve their durability and reduce their weight. Although the cost of wind power has decreased significantly over the past decade, the price of precious metals has slightly increased.
Despite the increasing profitability of wind power, many people are still skeptical about the long-term viability of wind power. Despite the technological advancements that have occurred in the industry, government grants and tax breaks remain necessary to encourage investment in wind power.
Industrial Wind Turbines Rotor & Blades Cost
The blades make up about 20% of the overall cost of wind turbines. Depending on the size and materials used, the cost of blades can vary. Manufacturers use either carbon and glass fiber or glass fiber hybrid blades. Although hybrid blades require less labor, the price difference between them is minimal.
The size of the blades affects their price. For instance, a single blade costs around $150,000 for an average wind turbine, while larger models require blades costing over $500,000 each. Aside from the materials used, the cost of the entire rotor is also included in the total cost of a wind turbine.
Industrial Wind Turbines Manufacturing Cost
The manufacturing of wind turbines accounts for around 70% of the total cost. Depending on the size, type, and materials used, the manufacturing process can take up to several months. Since each component of a wind turbine requires specialized engineers, it can be done at different locations. The tower, on the other hand, is the most common piece of equipment that’s used to build wind turbines.
Industrial Wind Turbines Tower Cost
The yaw mechanism and tower make up another portion of the cost of wind turbines. Although taller towers are more expensive to manufacture due to their higher labor and material costs, they can lower costs per kilowatt when operating at high altitudes. Due to the innovation of new materials, such as steel, the cost of raising the tower height is expected to be lowered.
Depending on the type and size of wind turbine, the cost of raising the tower height can vary. For instance, a 1.5 MW turbine can cost around $300,000, while larger models can cost over $1 million.
Industrial Wind Turbines Generator & Gearbox Cost
A wind turbine’s nacelle is where the gearbox, speed brakes, and generator are located. These components make up around 35% of the total cost of a wind turbine, and over 50% of its manufacturing costs. The gearbox, on the other hand, is the most important component of the wind turbine and is made to last for a long time.
The internal gearbox of wind turbines is a complex system that’s made to last for around 25 years. Since it has numerous moving parts, it requires a lot of attention to maintain its longevity. In the event that the gearbox gets damaged, it can lead to the entire unit failing.
Industrial Wind Turbines Transportation & Installation Cost
In the US, transportation accounts for around 3% to 8% of the wind turbine’s costs. As the size of wind turbines increases, this expense can also increase. Since the installation area is remote, the need for additional infrastructure, such as roads, is additionally added.
The cost of transporting wind turbines varies depending on the country where they’re made, their destination, and the political climate in the area where they’re located. Also, since different components of the wind turbine are manufactured separately, additional transportation costs can be incurred.
A single wind turbine can take around a year to transport. Since blades are typically the most difficult to move, especially for larger models, drivers need to take extra care when transporting them.
For a short-haul trip, the cost of transporting a wind turbine can be around $30,000 to $40,000. On the other hand, for a long-haul trip, the cost of transporting a wind turbine can be more than $100,000.
The various expenses associated with the installation of wind turbines are mainly related to the construction and assembly of the unit. Aside from the tower, the foundation of the wind turbine also needs to be built. This can be done depending on the site’s conditions and the weight of the components.
Depending on the size and weight of the wind turbine, the foundation of the structure can take around 8 to 20 truckloads of concrete. This can cost up to $250,000. The cost of building access roads can also be higher in remote locations.
The location of wind farms can also affect the cost of installing wind turbines. In the US or Europe, for instance, a wind turbine can cost around $1 million. However, in countries such as Brazil, the cost of installing wind turbines can be as low as $500,000.
Once the wind turbines are erected, they need to be connected to the electrical grid. This can be done through the installation of various infrastructure such as power substations and electric power poles. Depending on the type of wind turbine and the location of the site, the cost of installing a transformer can range from $15,000 to $50,000.
Industrial Wind Turbines Operations & Maintenance Cost
Wind turbines are relatively cheap to maintain once they’re installed and operational. Although this expense is an ongoing expense, the revenue generated by the electricity they produce far exceeds their costs.
- Land Rent
- Service & Repair
- Spare Parts
- Administrative & Legal
- Power (They require a small amount of energy to run)
In addition to power, the cost of operating and maintaining a wind turbine also includes various other expenses. These include insurance, taxes, and administrative and legal fees. Depending on the type of turbine and the location of the site, the cost of insuring each unit can range from $8,000 to $15,000 annually.
Although the cost of maintaining wind turbines increases as they get older, it’s important to note that these are new technologies and that they can still operate successfully for a long time. As engineers gain more knowledge about the wind turbine’s operation, they can develop better ways to keep them running.
Although the cost of maintaining wind turbines is expected to decrease in the near future, the overall O&M expenses are expected to increase due to the increasing number of wind turbines.
One of the main factors that contribute to the cost of maintaining wind turbines is the time and effort required to transport the workers to the site. This can be very costly, especially since the workers need to be protected from various hazards such as lightning and coastal hazards.
Despite the high initial cost of wind power, its costs are expected to decrease as engineers and researchers gain more knowledge about the turbines’ operations. Although fossil fuels are cheaper economically, they don’t have the same environmental benefits.
Unlike fossil fuels, wind power doesn’t have the negative effects of climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction that come with burning fossil fuels. Also, unlike other forms of energy, the land used for wind farms can be used for other purposes, such as agriculture. Despite the significant cost decrease of wind power over the past decade, it still hasn’t been able to turn a profit.
Due to the increasing public pressure, governments have started to provide incentives and tax breaks for the investment in wind power. Despite the high initial cost of wind power, many people still believe that it’s important to invest in renewable energy.