23 Oct '11, 11am

Big wind farms cost more than small ones

Big wind farms cost more than small ones

This post originally appeared on Energy Self-Reliant States , a resource of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance's New Rules Project . It seems obvious: Every extra turbine in a wind farm comes at a lower incremental cost, making the biggest wind power projects the most cost effective. If you bet $20 on that proposition, you just lost $20. Instead, data from the U.S. Department of Energy's 2009 Wind Technologies Market Report by Ryan Wiser and Mark Bolinger (a must-read) blows a hole in the conventional wisdom that bigger is better. The report shows that wind projects between five and 20 megawatts have the lowest installed cost per watt of any size wind project. There are a few plausible explanations. For one, the economies of scale for ever-larger wind projects are limited. At some point, the marginal cost of an additional turbine is much like the previous one. The 500th...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/wind-power/2011-10-20-big-wind-farms...

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Big Wind Farms Cost More Than Small Ones

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