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General
  • The most economical application of wind electric turbines is in groups of large machines (660 kW and up), called "wind power plants" or "wind farms."
  • A wind farm is a collection of turbines (windmills) built in an area to provide electricity.
  • Wind farms can revitalize the economy of rural communities, providing steady income through lease or royalty payments to farmers and other landowners.
  • In the past, windmills were used to grind grain or pump water.

Technology

  • Wind energy is one of the more promising renewable energy sources for electricity generation world-wide. The technology is well established with over 20,000 grid connected machines (with an average rating of 100 kW) operating world wide.
  • A modern power generating wind turbine is designed to produce high quality, network frequency electricity whenever enough wind is available. Wind turbines can operate continuously, unattended and with low maintenance with some 120,000 hours of active operation in a design life of 20 years.

Market

  • The levelized cost of wind-generated electricity at a hypothetical wind farm would be about $35 per MWh, including variable maintenance costs. Grid integration raises the overall cost of electricity at the wind farm to $37 per MWh. The cost of power for sale there would be $42 per MWh, plus about $2 per MWh to account for transmission losses, bringing the total cost to $44 per MWh. We will consider a 100-turbine wind farm, with a maximum capacity of 150 MW.
  • Wind turbine and wind farm costs are conventionally expressed in $/kW. Several commentators suggest that the world average cost of wind farms is about $ 1000/kW, which will be our standard value. Nevertheless, the most recent orders for wind turbines show prices around $500/kW. Taking a conservative of $250/kW for "balance of plant costs” therefore suggests large wind farms can now be built for around $750/kW.

Report

  • The first large-scale offshore wind farm (170 MW) was completed in Denmark, and ambitious plans exist for over 40 GW of development in Europe, particularly in Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

  • India had 7660.2 MW of wind generating capacity and is the fourth largest market in the world. Indian Wind Energy Association has estimated that with the current level of technology, the ‘on-shore’ potential for utilization of wind energy for electricity generation is of the order of 65,000 MW.

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