The hidden value of large-rotor, tall-tower wind turbines in the United States

The hidden value of large-rotor, tall-tower wind turbines in the United States

TitleThe hidden value of large-rotor, tall-tower wind turbines in the United States
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsRyan H Wiser, Dev Millstein, Mark Bolinger, Seongeun Jeong, Andrew D Mills
JournalWind Engineering
Date Published07/2020
Abstract

The significant upscaling of wind turbine size (nameplate capacity, rotor diameter, and tower height) has, to date, been driven primarily by a goal of minimizing the levelized cost of energy. But with wind’s levelized cost of energy now comparable with that of other generating resources, other design considerations besides cost-minimization have grown in importance—particularly as wind’s increasing market penetration begins to impose challenges on the electric grid. We find that taller towers and larger rotors (relative to nameplate capacity) can enhance the value of wind energy to the electricity system and provide other “hidden” benefits. Specifically, in regions where wind penetration has reached around 20%, we find a boost in wholesale market value of US$2–US$3/MWh. This is augmented by transmission, balancing, and financing benefits that sum to roughly US$2/MWh. The aggregate potential value enhancement of US$4–US$5/MWh is comparable with a 10%–15% reduction in levelized costs.

Notes

An open-access version of this article published in Wind Engineering can be downloaded here

URLhttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0309524X20933949
DOI10.1177/0309524X20933949