Wind Gets Bigger, Better, Cheaper
Wind Energy -- Where Bigger Is Better; Wind turbines are getting big, and that's great news for the industry.
Travis Hoium, January 11, 2019 (Motley Fool)
“…[Wind turbines are] reaching almost 10 megawatts (MW), enough to power 2,210 homes (using 221 homes per MW). A solar farm with only a few wind turbines could produce enough power for a small town and a big one, like the 1,550 MW Alta Wind Energy Center in California, could generate enough power for a small city…As wind turbines get bigger, their costs continue to come down, which should help the industry grow…One of the largest production wind turbine today is a 9.5 MW offshore turbine produced by Vestas Wind Systems…[But Vestas] recently announced a 10 MW turbine that will be ready for installation in 2021…[General Electric is investing $400 million to develop] a 12 MW offshore wind turbine that will be 260 meters high…[Siemens is] lagging with just an 8 MW offshore wind turbine…
[Manufacturers and wind farm developers are] more cost-effective…[The capacity factor] of wind turbines in the U.S. rose to 34.6% in 2017, up from 32.4% in 2013, as turbines got bigger and more efficient…[but GE estimates] its 12 MW turbine will be able to achieve a 63% capacity factor…[Economies of scale also make large wind farms] less expensive to build than smaller ones…[The result is that wind offshore can] open many more untapped markets. Coastal areas are typically where the highest electricity demand lies, but it's often farthest from the windy locations, particularly in the U.S…[The new scale] will help grow the global wind addressable market from $157 billion in 2017 to $254 billion in 2024…” click here for more