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Windpower Income and Project Economics

Windpower Income and Project Economics

Windpower Income and Project Economics

Project costs

The cost of the wind turbine project depends on the number of wind turbines and their size. For simplicity the table below shows the typical costs for a single 1 MW wind turbine, then multiplication factors that can be applied for larger 2.5 MW and 3.5 MW wind turbines, then a percentage to increase that by for multiple-turbine projects.

Project Stage 1 x 1MW Factor for
2.5 MW
Factor for
3.5 MW
Additional Turbine(s)
Development – feasibility £4k x 1 x 1 x 25%
Development – planning consent £45k x 1.5 x 2 x 50%
Installation £1,400k x 1.65 x 2.25 x 95%

For example, if you are considering three 3.5 MW wind turbines and would like to know roughly what the planning consent process would cost, multiply the ‘1 x 1 MW’ planning consent cost of £45k by 2 to give the budget price for a single 2.5 MW wind turbine, then increase this by 100% (2 x 50%) to give the budget estimate for three 2.5 MW wind turbines, so £45k x 2 x 100% = £180k.

Obviously these are budget costs but would be typical for a normal site and assume using good quality wind turbines (which we’d always recommend).

Windpower Income

The income you would receive for the energy generated by a wind turbine is discussed in more detail on the Sources of income for wind turbines page.

The actual income from a wind turbine varies significantly depending on the average wind speed at the site (see the How much wind energy could I generate from a wind turbine? page), so the revenue shown in the table on the How much wind energy income would a wind turbine provide? page comprises the net income after maintenance costs, business rates and land rental (latter assumed at 8% of gross income) have been deducted. The exact project revenues for your project would be worked out during the feasibility process.

Payback periods/Internal Rate of Return (IRRs)

Based on the project costs and incomes outlined above for single-turbine projects, the simple payback periods and IRRs shown on the What would the return on investment be from a wind turbine? page would be achieved for the different annual average wind speeds shown. It is too complicated to work the equivalent out for multiple-turbine projects, but this should still give you a good idea of the economic viability of a community wind project.

Want to install a wind turbine?

If you are in the UK then take our Wind Site Self-Assessment - The first step to provide information we need to complete a Windpower Feasibility Study. It takes about 20 minutes to work through the basic checks, including:

  • Estimating wind speed
  • Checking proximity of nearby properties
  • Checking site access and approach roads
  • Investigating connection with the grid

If you are in the Republic of Ireland, or overseas, the first step is to Contact us to discuss your requirements and to complete a Windpower Feasibility Study.

Start the process here: Take the Wind Site Self-Assessment