How Much Does a Wind Turbine Cost?

How Much Does a Wind Turbine Cost?

If you’re considering investing in a wind turbine, or are just learning about them, you’re likely wondering how much they cost.

The answer to that question can vary quite a bit, depending on the size and type of turbine you choose. On average, you can expect to pay $1 million per megawatt of capacity that a wind turbine offers.

However, this number depends on many factors. In this blog post, we’ll give you an overview of the cost of wind turbines, as well as some factors that affect the overall price.

Manufacturing

Wind turbine manufacturing cost
The cost of manufacturing wind turbines by Engineering Advice

The biggest factor in determining the cost of a wind turbine is its size.

Most modern wind turbines are manufactured using fiberglass. This material is very lightweight and durable, which makes it ideal for wind turbines but also quite expensive.

There are other materials that wind turbines can be made out of, including carbon fiber and metal alloys; however, none of these options are as efficient as fiberglass.

Land

Wind turbine land cost
The expensive cost of land used by wind turbines by Karsten Wurth/Unsplash

Another important factor in the cost of a wind turbine is the cost of land.

Turbines need to be placed in an open area with good wind speeds, and this can often add to the overall price tag.

And to install a wind turbine, you must assess the land, which can cost you around $30,000 per turbine!

That’s without mentioning the actual cost of the land itself, which can vary greatly depending on the location and how much space is needed for installation.

Permits

 

Permits can cost up to 1% of the total cost of building a wind turbine
Permits can cost up to 1% of the total cost of building a wind turbine (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

In order to install a wind turbine, you’ll also need to obtain permits from your local government.

This process can be lengthy and costly and can add an additional $5,000-$50,000 to the overall cost of your turbine.

Transportation

Transportation costs for the materials of the wind farm
Transportation costs for the materials of the wind farm by Elif Oguz

As you know, wind farms are often built in remote locations, which leads to another big cost: transportation.

Wind turbines are very large and heavy, so the cost of getting them to your site can be high, usually $100,000 to $150,000!

In some cases, the cost of transportation can be more than the turbine itself!

This is especially true if the turbine needs to be shipped overseas.

Also, when transporting a turbine, you not only have to worry about the cost of fuel but also the wear and tear on the equipment, which can add to the overall price.

Installation

wind turbine installation cost
The cost of installing wind turbines by Baldwin Energy

Once a wind turbine has reached its destination, it needs to be installed.

And trust me, this is no easy task.

It takes a lot of manpower, specialized equipment, and technical know-how to install a turbine, all of which adds up to more money.

Installation costs aren’t only about erecting the turbine, it also contains building access roads, foundation, as well as wiring, which can be super expensive.

Operation & Maintenance

O&M cost for a wind turbine
O&M cost for a wind turbine by Mohammed J. Alshukri

Wind turbines require regular maintenance in order to keep them running at peak performance.

This includes checking the blades, gearboxes, and other components for wear and tear, as well as performing repairs when necessary.

Generally, the average operation and maintenance cost for wind turbines is $48,000 per megawatt.

So, How Much Does a Wind Turbine Cost?

As you can see, the cost of a wind turbine can vary quite a bit, depending on the size, type, and location of the turbine.

But in general, you can expect to pay around $1 million per megawatt of capacity.

While the initial cost may seem high, remember that you’ll be able to generate clean, renewable energy for around 25 years.

Generally, a wind turbine can pay for itself within 7 years, and it’ll continue to make money after that!

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