Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: wind turbine costs - actual ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: wind turbine costs - actual
Category: Business and Money > Economics
Asked by: clb108-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 03 Nov 2003 16:12 PST
Expires: 03 Dec 2003 16:12 PST
Question ID: 272316
Small wind turbines (<50kw) appear to cost around $2000 per kw of peak
capacity, with some variation from vendor to vendor. I am looking for
pricing information on the larger wind turbines, eg. > 500kw.

I have heard that they are the most cost efficient, but what are the

In other words, what are the most cost efficient wind turbines on the
market now and what is the actual cost?
Subject: Re: wind turbine costs - actual
Answered By: leader-ga on 04 Nov 2003 18:09 PST
Hello clb108-ga:

It was a pleasure to answer your question. I can safely assume from
your question that you are looking for the cost of erecting a large
wind turbine (more than 500 KW). You know the approximate costs of
small scale wind turbines. As I believe in quality rather than
quantity, I am providing you a referenced guide. I also tried to
provide links that I think are very useful including an affordable
book that answers your very question.

To address the question of cost related with large turbines, I am
summarizing the information that I have collected.

IMPORTANT! Wherever mentioned, please refer to the links provided in
the REFERENCE for a detailed study. i.e. (More info - #)


Experts agree that a larger wind turbine will cost less per KW as
compared to the small wind turbines. It is also a well known fact that
the cost of starting a large wind turbine reduced sharply in the last
decade and continues to decline every year. Take for example the
average cost of a large scale wind turbines in Chile that decreased
from $3000 + per KW in 1981 to almost $750 per KW in 1995. (More info
-1). Although, the cost of the wind turbine also depends on the design
of the large wind turbines (More info ? 2), but it has been confirmed
from various studies that the larger the wind turbine, the more cost
efficient it is. Studies have shown that the economies of scale start
to affect the cost per KW from around 500 KW turbines to larger
turbines. It means that the larger the wind turbine, the less the cost
per KW (More info ? 3). Just because of this reason, wind turbines of
1 to 1.5 MW are becoming normal and are replacing the small turbines
that produced only 2% of the capacity in 2001 (More info ? 2).

Similarly, a large wind farm is considered more economical than a
small wind farm (More info ? 4). Among other factors that contribute
to the effective wind turbine, wind is considered to be one of the
most important. The greater the wind speed, the more efficient the
wind turbine. It is for this reason, large wind turbines with more KW
power are being preferred (More info ? 4). One of the other reasons
that larger wind turbines are pf the value is because the operational
and maintenance costs of building a wind turbine are on the fall.
?Operation and maintenance (O&M) costs have dropped four-fold over the
last decade to 1-1.5 c/KWh, and are likely to drop to less than 1
c/KWh by the year 2005.With the output from a modern turbine in a good
wind area now averages 800-1,000 KWh/year/Sq.m.? (More info ? 5).
Besides, developers are constructing large wind turbines because
recent studies have shown that the energy generated by the wind
turbines pays for the cost of building a turbine within a matter of
months, irrespective of size (More info ? 6 & 7).

Various studies have shown that the costs associated with large wind
turbines (i.e. greater than 500KW) averages $750 per KW. (More info -
8,9 &10). On the other hand, the cost of wind turbines that have less
power are higher (More info ? 11 & 12) but the cost might decrease
with the expansion of the wind farm, hence larger size is better (More
info ? 12).


NOTE!Please type the name of the businesses for which no web address
is provided in Google; chances are that will be a website.


Here is a calculator to estimate the costs associated with a large wind turbine:


A book on the costs of building a large scale wind turbine:


Here is a study on cost of building a wind turbine:


A study comparison of four large scale wind turbines and the costs of operations:



1. Installation cost of wind turbine
Installation costs have gone down from 1981 at 3000+ per KW to 750 per KW in 1995.

2. Size - efficiency ratio
** The trend in wind turbine development is toward systems with larger
and larger power
ratings. In 2001, less than 2% of the newly installed capacity came
from turbines rated
at less than 500kW. Turbines rated at 1 to 1.5MW are becoming standard
fare and there
are several 5MW-class systems under development.
The best opportunities for cost reduction lie in designing and
building more cost-effective
wind turbines that lower the initial capital cost.
The wind energy market is very robust. Installed capacity increased by
almost 7000MW in 2001, which set an industry record. Europe continues
to be the leading market with about 4500MW installed last year.

3. Wind Turbine Cost
**Information on turbine costs and economies of scale. For example, the cost As 
you move from a 150 kW machine to a 600 kW machine, prices will roughly triple, 
rather than quadruple. The reason is, that there are economies of scale up to a 
certain point, e.g. the amount of manpower involved in building a 150 kW machine 
is not very different from what is required to build a 600 kW machine.
CONCLUSION: The larger the Wind power turbine, the greater the economies of scale.

4. Cost
** The cost of energy varies with the wind speed. The greater the
wind speed the less the cost of energy. See chart
Improvement in turbine design brings down the energy cost. Comparison of 25KW
and 1650 KW power wind turbine costing 2,600 to 790 cost per KW, respectively.
A large wind farm is more economical as compared to the small. For cost 
comparison, see chart.
Economics of 50MW wind farm and the construction cost.

5. Cost of Wind Turbines
** The world?s total wind turbine capacity has reached 8,500 MW in 1998. 
The capital costs have halved and now average about $ 1,000/KW. They are 
expected to decline to $ 750-850/KW, within the next few years. Operation 
and maintenance (O&M) costs have dropped four-fold over the last decade to 
1-1.5 c/KWh, and are likely to drop to less than 1 c/KWh by the year 2005.
With the output from a modern turbine in a good wind area now averaging 
800-1,000 KWh/year/Sq.m. 

6. Cost of construction & Energy Payback
** The energy generated by wind turbines pays for the materials used to make
them in a matter of months, according to three separate European studies. 

7. Building Cost Payback
** The cost of building a wind turbine will payback in a matter of months.

8. Wind Energy Economics Calculator (calculator)
**A 600KW will cost 750 per KW. A smaller 225 KW will cost 888 per KW. 

9. Cost of 600KW Danish wind turbine
** Summary of a Project to install a 600 KW wind turbine in Denmark in
1995 that cost
772.87 per Kw.

10. Cost & Efficiency of Wind Turbines
** Efficiency depends on many factors including wind. See chart for an
illustration of
a large wind turbine.
A 1.5 MW wind turbine cost was 750 per Kw.

11. Cost of wind turbine
** Cost of 250KW wind turbine was $1,450 approx. in NJ.

12. Cost of large wind turbines
** in 1994 a 64MW park cost 84 million with costs at $1280 per KW in
California. Expansion to 67 MW and the cost fell to $1220 per KW.
in 1994 a 14.5 MW cost was 24 Million at $1650.


?cost of wind turbine?
cost of large wind turbines

I hope this will help. Please clarify, if you are not satisfied. I
will be obliged to serve your needs.


Request for Answer Clarification by clb108-ga on 04 Nov 2003 18:55 PST
Thanks for the general overview. I was already familiar with most of
this. I am after specific turbines and prices, ideally with URLs to
the specifications.

Cost per KW of capacity is what I want to optimize. For example, what
about the 100MW and above turbines. What are their cost per MW
capacity? Are they significantly more efficient than the 1MW class?
Where is the point of diminishing returns? Specific price quotes are
needed to answer this question.

I was looking for the detailed info on turbines, eg. model abc 3MW
cost $???/kw, model def 100MW cost $???/kw, etc.

Clarification of Answer by leader-ga on 05 Nov 2003 07:02 PST
Thanks. I am doing research on your clarification. I will get back to you soon.


Request for Answer Clarification by clb108-ga on 17 Nov 2003 09:21 PST
Hopefully, the answers will come soon.

Clarification of Answer by leader-ga on 18 Nov 2003 06:51 PST
Hello clb8-ga:

Thanks for your patience. I was always aware of the clarification request. I was
just waiting for someone to provide me with a concrete answer. I
conducted more research on your clarification request but out of tens
of different large wind turbine manufactureres nobody had the exact
costs for the large models. When I emailed them for an inquiry, two of
the companies responded that the cost associated to the wind turbine
will depend upon the project needs and has to be evaluated on
individual basis.
Definitely, I had no idea about the project so I refrained from asking
further questions. Moreover, my initial research shows that it is
almost impossible to get the prices of large wind turbines, model by
model without asking the manufacturer and letting them know your
Also, turbines of 100 MW and more are so rare that I doubt the
manufacturer will ever post a fixed price on their website. It can
only be known by consulting the manufacturer directly.
I know this doesn't constitutes an answer and provides you with 'no
answer'. That is precisely what I am encountering during my research.
I was just waiting for a concrete e-mail answer so I could forward it
to you but nothing so far. I couldn't have made a phone call either as
I was unaware of the technical details of your project.
I will suggest you to ask for a refund in this case. In rare cases,
there is no answer that will be completely satisfactory and it is one
of those incidents. I again apologize for the delay and feel that I
couldn't provide you with more information that you already have.

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy