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How does wind project performance change with age in the United States?

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) analyzed the performance of 917 wind plants in the United States and found steep declines in performance after the first 10 years of operation. The performance drop coincided with the plants losing their eligibility for the production tax credits (PTC). This could signal project owners are less interested in maintaining the turbines once the tax credits have ended. The PTC is available to operating projects during the first 10-years a project is in service. The summary of the paper is provided below. The full paper can be downloaded via the links on this page. 

Summary

Wind-plant performance declines with age, and the rate of decline varies between regions. The rate of performance decline is important when determining wind-plant financial viability and expected lifetime generation. We determine the rate of age-related performance decline in the United States wind fleet by evaluating generation records from 917 plants. We find the rate of performance decline to be 0.53%/year for older vintages of plants and 0.17%/year for newer vintages of plants on an energy basis for the first 10 years of operation, which is on the lower end of prior estimates in Europe. Unique to the United States, we find a significant drop in performance by 3.6% after 10 years, as plants lose eligibility for the production tax credit. Certain plant characteristics, such as the ratio of blade length to nameplate capacity, influence the rate of performance decline. These results indicate that the performance decline rate can be partially managed and influenced by policy.

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Wind Project Performance 1 S2

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Source: https://www.sciencedirect.c...

MAY 15 2020
http://www.windaction.org/posts/51265-how-does-wind-project-performance-change-with-age-in-the-united-states
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