synertics logo synertics menu icon

Energy Procurement made simple

Join us on our journey towards renewable energy excellence, where knowledge meets innovation.

Categories

Repowering for wind farms

Written by
Tomás Oliveira

In theory, any type of power plant or installation can be repowered. However, wind power is especially suitable for this process. 
 

2 min
6th Jun, 2024
Insights
Share

Repowering in the context of wind energy involves upgrading or replacing existing wind turbines to improve efficiency, increase energy production, and extend the operational lifespan of wind farms. Onshore wind farms usually last 20-25 years, after which we can either extend their lifespan with repairs, decommission them and restore the site, or repower them.

As Europe aims to double its wind power capacity to meet energy transition targets, repowering comes as a crucial mechanism. Here are some detailed aspects specific to wind energy repowering:

 

Key components 

Turbine replacement

  • New turbines: Installing fewer, larger, and more efficient turbines with higher capacity.
  • Taller towers: Using taller towers to capture stronger, more consistent winds.


Component upgrades

  • Blades: Installing longer, more aerodynamic blades to increase wind energy capture.
  • Control systems: Implementing advanced control systems that optimise the performance of the turbines by adjusting the blade pitch and yaw in response to wind conditions.

Infrastructure improvements

  • Grid connection: Enhancing the electrical infrastructure to handle the increased power output from newer turbines.
  • Foundations: Reinforcing or replacing foundations to support the larger and heavier turbines.

 

Benefits 

Increased energy output
New turbines are often more efficient and can produce significantly more energy than older models, even if fewer turbines are installed.

Improved reliability
Modern turbines have better reliability and lower maintenance requirements, reducing downtime and operational costs.

Extended lifespan
Repowering can extend the operational life of a wind farm, deferring the need for decommissioning and site reclamation.

Economic advantages
Increased energy output can lead to higher revenue for wind farm operators. Additionally, repowering can create jobs and stimulate economic activity in the region.

 

Challenges 

Investment costs
The cost of new turbines, installation, and infrastructure upgrades can be substantial.

Regulatory approvals
Repowering projects may require new permits and regulatory approvals, which can be time-consuming and complex.

Community impact
Larger turbines may have different visual and noise impacts compared to the old ones, potentially leading to community opposition.

Grid integration
The local grid infrastructure must be capable of handling the increased power output, which may necessitate additional upgrades.


Conclusion

Repowering wind farms is a crucial strategy for maximising the potential of existing wind energy resources. By leveraging advancements in technology and addressing challenges through strategic planning and community engagement, wind energy repowering can play a significant role in the transition to sustainable and renewable energy systems.

Share it if you found it useful
Might also interest you
5 min
Pay-as-Nominated PPAs

Insights

3rd Jul, 2024

4 min
When can a short-term PPA be a good option?

Insights

28th Jun, 2024

4 min
How to calculate the fair value of a pay-as-produced PPA price?

Insights

31st May, 2024

About Synertics
Synertics provides advisory services and develops digital data-driven solutions for the energy industry with the purpose of driving productivity and transferring knowledge.
PPA Origination, Structuring and Pricing