Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The Repowering Mission:  Breathing New Life into Our Aging Wind Turbine Fleet

Through the work of repowering, wind farms facing the end of their lifespan in the next five years could last to 2050 and beyond.

Sweetwater Texas wind turbine. (Credit: Drew Stephens CC 2.0 Wikimedia) Click to Enlarge.
The global wind turbine fleet, which, according to data from the Global Wind Energy Council, currently stands at about 341,000, faces an important reality as the years go by – many of its units are getting old.  The industry average for a wind turbine’s lifespan is typically placed at 20-25 years.  Projects that were built in the early 2000s already face the possibility of decommissioning in the coming years, unless their owners can find the right scenario to give them new life.

Known as repowering, the updating of wind turbines at existing wind farms can be accomplished by either replacing older wind turbines with fewer units with a higher capacity or swapping out the parts in the original turbines with new, more efficient technologies.
In North America, the average age of the wind turbine fleet will reach 14 years by 2030, according to IHS Markit.  That means about a quarter of the fleet will have passed its expected lifespan at that time.

Some of those units already have begun the repowering process.

Read more at The Repowering Mission:  Breathing New Life into Our Aging Wind Turbine Fleet

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