If you’re thinking about purchasing a wind turbine, you need to know how much does a wind turbine cost. There are various costs involved, including the cost of the land where you intend to place the turbine, the cost of installing and maintaining a wind turbine, and the cost of lightning protection for the wind turbines. These costs will vary depending on the type of turbine and the size of the wind turbine.
Wind turbine cost – Land prices for wind turbines
Land prices for wind turbines are generally between $1,000 and $2,000 per acre, but they can go up or down. Buyers often want the long-term stability of an investment or the cash flow from a wind turbine lease. Others are looking to be a part of the renewable energy movement. Regardless of the reason, there is a strong market for land that is perfect for wind turbines. In some cases, landowners are making millions off their land.
Before purchasing land for wind turbines, it is important to consider the size of the land available. Wind turbines can range from small to large, and the land must be large enough to support the project. Some areas are especially windy, which means that they’ll require a special permit from your local planning commission.
Wind turbine leases generally last thirty to 40 years. The income they generate can help landowners offset economic dips, such as those caused by tariffs and fluctuating prices of livestock and crops. The average landowner can expect to earn around $3,000 to $7,000 per year.
Transmission costs for wind farms
Transmission wind turbine cost is a major issue when constructing a wind farm. The cost of transmission can range from 15 to 25 percent of the total cost of the farm. ERCOT, which is the entity that oversees ERCOT’s wind energy programs, has invested $7 billion in constructing transmission lines from wind farms in West Texas to population centers in Mid Texas. These costs have been borne by the rate payers and not the wind turbine owners.
A study from NREL titled “Western Wind and Solar Integration Study Phase 2” claims that transmission system capital costs will be small, as long as the power produced by the wind turbines is sufficient to offset the additional power consumption of the grid. However, this study highlights several challenges of integrating wind energy into the electricity grid. These include increased ramping up and down during part-load operations, increased fuel consumption, and increased wear on equipment.
The study used four complementary approaches to arrive at a range of transmission costs for wind farms. These included grid expansion studies, generator interconnection applications, and individual transmission projects. It found that the median cost of transmission is $300/kW, which is close to 15% of the total cost of wind energy projects. This cost is near the upper end of the transmission cost range implied by two higher-level analyses that require 20% of wind power capacity in the U.S. by 2030.
Cost of lightning protection for wind turbines
Lightning is a serious threat to wind turbines. It can destroy blade structures, control systems, and electrical components. A single lightning strike can result in a wind turbine having to be completely repaired, or the replacement of an entire turbine. This type of damage on wind turbine can result in a cost of $380,000 or more. In order to protect wind turbines from lightning, manufacturers are making an enormous investment in lightning protection systems.
The design of wind turbines has a large impact on lightning protection. The most effective lightning protection measures minimize lightning’s destructive effects on a wind turbine. Lightning protection zones include shielding and surge protective devices to reduce damage. Oftentimes, wind turbines are placed at high risk of lightning.
Lighting protection is vital for wind turbines, which are tall, isolated towers containing sensitive electronics. An improperly installed lightning protection system can cause severe physical damage. Since 80% of wind turbine insurance claims result from lightning strikes, lightning protection devices are worth the investment.
Maintenance costs for wind turbines
For maintenance of wind turbine, cost can be high. Repairs to rotor blades and gearboxes are often complex and expensive, and can result in longer downtime. Rotor blades and towers are also susceptible to damage, typically caused by erosion or lightning. But the more serious damage isn’t the only concern.
Proper maintenance is essential for wind turbines to run smoothly. The amount of work required depends on the type of installation and its scale. Roof mounted vertical axis systems, for example, require less maintenance than large towers. Keeping parts of a wind turbine lubricated is a major part of any maintenance programme, which is a vital component of any wind turbine.
The cost of O&M can be estimated by calculating the total cost of scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. Windstats has calculated that the average O&M cost of wind turbines ranges between EUR15 and EUR26 per megawatt hour (MWh). Nevertheless, costs can vary significantly. Despite this, most survey participants believe that the cost of O&M will remain stable until at least 2015.
Read also: How Much Energy Does a Wind Turbine Produce?
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