Lifetime Performance of World’s First Offshore Wind Farm
The first offshore windfarm in the world has just been decommissioned and is now being torn down. Its lifetime performance specs are illuminating in comparison with recent wind industry data, and alternative generation options.
- While turbines are getting larger, able to operate at lower wind speeds, and improving their capacity factors, the total lifecycle cost per unit of energy provided from offshore wind has not perceptibly decreased from 1991 to 2015. Higher costs of O&M for larger turbines farther offshore seems to consume savings from higher capacity factors.
- As it is uncontrollably variable and weather dependent, offshore wind generation remains uncompetitive with gas and coal, which are half the cost (~ $70/MWh LCOE) while providing fully dispatchable and weather-independent power that is of much higher value to a power grid.