Remanufactured Wind Turbines Halve the Price of New: Community Wind Power Projects Take Note


photo: Nexion DG

So you're looking to develop a community wind farm. Nothing too large, just enough to power some local businesses, maybe a school. But you can't afford to buy new turbines. What can you do? The New York Times is running an article which lays out your options for buying remanufactured wind turbines, and some of the risks.

NYT talked with Matt Stein of Nexion DG, a Portland, Oregon-based company which takes decommissioned wind turbines (generally in the 25-750 kW range), remanufactures them and then redeploys them. Here's how the costs break down for a remanufactured turbine:

A new turbine runs in the range of $1,400 to $1,600 per kilowatt of generating capacity, which translates to at least $1.4 million for a 1 megawatt turbine. [...] Nexion sells remanufactured 25-kilowatt to 500-kilowatt turbines for about $700 to $800 per kilowatt. Their customers also only wait about two months for a rebuilt machine, compared to the year-long—or more—waiting lists for new turbines.

Shorter Wait Times For Equipment Too...
If a turbine is properly rebuilt, every part from the 80- to 100-foot tower to the blades can be restored to last another 20 years, said Mr. Stein. The gear box, a refrigerator-sized tangle of moving steel parts, is "the heart of the turbine" and the most critical piece to rebuild, he said, because of the amount of wear and tear it endures spinning 1,000 revolutions a minute for years on end.

The are risks though. Stein said, "It's not rocket science, but if you don't know what you're doing, you're going to put something up in the air that will blow itself up." Like in this video:

More on remanufactured wind turbines, including other sources of them than the one linked here: The New York Times
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Tags: Communities | Renewable Energy | United States | Wind Power

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