Cost of building a wind farm

Wind power is the conversion of the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy. As a clean and renewable energy source, wind energy is getting more and more attention from all over the world. Its amount is huge, the global wind energy is about 2.74×10^9MW, of which the available wind energy is 2×10^7MW, which is 10 times larger than the total amount of exploitable water energy on earth. With the increasing use of new energy, the construction of wind farms in various countries is also increasing, so what will be the cost composition of building a wind farm?
From the actual situation, the construction cost of wind power plant is very high. Although the scale of wind power plant does not look as huge as hydroelectric power plant, the construction cost is not low.
Cost of wind power generation
1.The composition of the cost of power generation.
Asset costs: establishment of power stations, transmission lines
Operation cost: operation and maintenance of the power station
Financial: return to investors, bank interest
2.Two factors that affect the cost
One is the technical factors, such as wind speed and wind turbine characteristics, the second is the economic factors such as return on investment and payback period
Reasons for cost reduction:
1)The more wind turbines are produced, the lower their cost is.
2)Increasing capacity of individual turbines, reducing the cost of infrastructure.
3)Improved reliability of wind turbines reduces the average cost of operation and maintenance; wind turbines are becoming cheaper and more efficient.
4)Project development costs are decreasing as developers become more experienced.
5)Large-scale development can attract WTG manufacturers and other suppliers to offer discounts to spread the infrastructure costs of the site over more WTGs to reduce unit costs.

parc éolien
parc éolien

About onshore wind farms
We take 50MW wind farm as an example, its budget cost is about 450 million to 500 million, the construction cost may vary greatly in different places, and its specific composition cost is as follows.
Pre-project engineering
Pre-project engineering includes construction land supply, construction power supply, engineering construction water supply engineering, large equipment entry supply, etc. This part of the cost accounts for about 1% of the total investment, the corresponding cost is about 5 million.
Equipment purchase cost
Equipment acquisition cost is the most important cost of wind power plants, the proportion of the total cost can reach between 70% and 85%, the key depends on the acquisition of equipment models capacity and other factors.
These equipment costs include wind turbines, tower tube, machine transformers, collector overhead lines, collector cable lines, distribution devices, reactive power compensation devices, occupancy power systems, power cables, etc.
The cost of power generation equipment is the most expensive, which the cost of wind turbines accounted for at least 80% of the cost of equipment, and the cost of wind turbines is very high, because it is used is a special material, most wind power plant blades are currently used to strengthen the fiber glass steel, and a molding, so the cost is very high, the current cost of a single blade in about 1 million to between 2 million, the key depends on the diameter. In addition, the tower and other equipment accounted for the proportion of equipment cost is about 20%.
Installation costs.
Installation costs are also relatively large, which requires more items of expenditure, specifically divided into several pieces of installation costs.
1.The field installation costs.
Site installation costs include wind turbine installation, tower installation, unit transformer installation, etc. This part of the cost accounts for about 4% to 6%, which is a relatively large gap between different regions.
2.Booster station installation.
The installation cost of the booster station mainly includes the installation of the main transformer, the installation of the distribution device, etc. This part of the cost accounts for about 1% of the total cost, equivalent to 50MW wind power plant booster station installation cost is about 5 million.
Civil engineering
There are more civil works involved, including site formation works, road traffic works, building construction works, wind turbine and tower unit foundation works, box change foundation works, grounding works, main transformer, foundation works, electrical equipment, foundation works, distribution equipment, construction works, etc.
These civil works accounted for about 10% of the budget cost, equivalent to 50MW wind power plant civil works cost of about 50 million.
1.External access costs.
After the wind power plant is established, the electricity has to be sent to the outside or grid-connected, and the construction cost of these external lines adds up to about 5% to 10%, depending on the length of the line, which means that the cost of 50MW external lines is about 50 million to 100 million.
2.Other costs
Other costs include supervision fees, acceptance fees, insurance fees, entry fees, etc. These costs account for about 5% of the total investment.
Of course, these costs listed above are only an approximate cost, the construction of wind power plants in different areas, because the environment is different, different near and far, so the construction costs of different projects are different.

parc éolien
parc éolien

About Offshore Wind Farms
The current investment cost of offshore wind farms is about twice the investment cost of onshore wind farms. Wind power industry chain, wind turbines inside the cost of components accounted for more than a few, one is the blade, accounting for the largest, followed by the hub, and then bearings, spindles, gearboxes, towers are okay, the other basically accounted for the entire cost of the wind turbine is very small.
Offshore wind power cost composition according to the actual projects carried out in various coastal provinces across the country, analysis of the cost of offshore wind power projects in various regions, in general, offshore wind power project unit kilowatt cost are relatively high. The cost of offshore wind farms is mainly composed of the following parts: equipment acquisition costs, construction and safety costs, other costs, interest. Each component accounts for a different proportion of the total cost and has a different impact on the total cost.
1.Equipment purchase cost: At this stage, the equipment purchase cost (excluding the collection line submarine cable) accounts for about 50% of the project cost, which has a greater impact on the cost. Among them, wind turbines and towers account for about 85% of the equipment cost, the unit kilowatt cost of about 7500 ~ 8500 CNY / kW, the impact on the overall equipment costs; send out the submarine cable accounts for about 5% of the equipment cost, the unit kilowatt cost of about 500 yuan / kW; related electrical equipment accounts for about 10% of the equipment cost, the unit kilowatt cost of about 1000 CNY / kW.
2.Construction and security costs: construction and security costs account for about 35% of the total cost, unit kilowatt cost of about 6000 ~ 7000 CNY/ kW. the current offshore wind power has been completed wind farm projects are relatively small in number, small scale, the corresponding ship equipment is not mature, the construction team is relatively single, the lack of construction experience, resulting in higher construction costs, coupled with the complex offshore construction conditions, construction difficulties, construction of the key equipment required (such as Offshore wind turbine foundation piling, wind turbine lifting, etc.) professional available large ship equipment is less, ship class costs are high, compared to onshore wind power, offshore wind power construction and security costs account for a significant proportion of the total cost.
3.Other costs: other costs include project land fees, project construction and management fees, production preparation costs, etc., accounting for about 10% of the total cost, unit kilowatt cost of about 1600 ~ 1900 CNY / kW. Due to the scarcity of marine resources, labor wages, longer pre-work cycle, other costs will be slightly higher overall, especially compensation for mariculture, ecological restoration of the sea and other costs rose more significantly;
But with the increase in the number of offshore wind power development, project development and construction experience, the owner of their own project management level will also improve, will offset some of these rising factors. Even if other costs down 10%, the total cost of less than 1% decline, the impact is relatively limited.
4.Interest: interest and wind farm construction cycle and interest rates, accounting for about 5% of the total cost. With the continuous progress of offshore wind power construction technology, especially the shortening of key project duration, interest will have a certain degree of decline. As for the interest rate, it is a policy cost and changes mainly when the country regulates the macro economy. Overall, the impact of interest on wind farm costs is highly uncertain.

parc éolien
parc éolien

Currently, the cost of offshore wind power is basically twice the cost of onshore wind power. The following section will compare the cost of offshore and onshore wind power from the whole life cycle of the pre-project, project construction period and project operation period.
Pre-project: The pre-project work for offshore wind farms is relatively long and requires coordination with more departments, mainly including marine, maritime, etc., and requires obtaining more supporting documents, sea area, navigation, marine environmental assessment, etc. Compared to onshore, the cost of pre-project work is higher.
Project construction period: Compared to onshore wind farms, offshore wind power project construction, equipment costs and construction and installation costs have increased significantly. Equipment costs, offshore wind turbine kilowatt price is about two times the onshore wind turbine, submarine cable and offshore booster station and other electrical equipment prices are higher than onshore wind farms; construction and installation costs, due to poor construction conditions at sea, construction difficulties, wind turbine foundation, wind turbine installation and other costs far more than the cost of onshore wind farms.
Project operation period: Offshore wind farms require maintenance of equipment mainly including wind turbine equipment, booster station equipment and platforms, submarine cables, etc.. However, offshore wind farms are generally far offshore, coupled with unfavorable sea conditions such as typhoons, storm surges and other weather-induced large waves, accessibility is poor, wind turbine operation and maintenance is more difficult and maintenance costs are high.
At present, according to the project equipment in the life of the reliability of gradually declining characteristics of the repair rate in stages, the general construction period and warranty period to take 0.5% of the value of fixed assets, and (5 ~ 10) years as a time period, step by step to increase the repair rate to 3.0%. According to the European offshore wind farm operation and maintenance experience, wind farm operation and maintenance workload is about 2 to 4 times of the same size of onshore wind farms, operation and maintenance workload is larger and more difficult.parc éolien

wind farmThe data mentioned in this article is for reference only, the specific cost of building a wind farm has to be combined with the actual situation to determine the specific plan, different terrain, transportation, land and various reasons will affect its total cost. Onshore wind farms are also very different from offshore wind farms, and require specific analysis of specific issues.

CRRC/BOLAND has experienced construction team, we can provide wind farm proposal making, EPC wind farm and investment operation and maintenance.

Boland Renewable Energy Co.,LTD As an integrated new energy power company, providing you with high quality integrated wind energy , solar energy and energy storage system solutions.Boland is now a subsidiary of CRRC, and is responsible for the overseas expansion of  CRRC's wind power & solar power business. We have a relatively complete internal supply chain, service network and excellent product quality and technology.

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