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What would the return on investment be from a wind turbine?

The maximum Return On Investment is achieved if electricity generated is consumed on site rather than being exported to the National Grid. The more energy consumed, the higher the Return On Investment.

Assuming a design life of 20 years for a good quality modern wind turbine and a typical on-site imported electricity price of 12 p/kWh, the following table of Return On Investment ( Internal Rates of Return – IRRs) can be constructed for a range of turbines installed on a range of sites with annual mean wind speeds ranging from 5 to 8.5 m/s. This assumes all energy is consumed on-site.

Maximum Power Output Example Turbines IRR’s for sites with for the following annual average wind speeds:
5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 8.5
100 kW Norvento nED-100 -1.5% 0.8% 2.8% 4.6% 6.1% 7.4% 8.5% 9.5%
900 kW EWT DW52 5.4% 8.8% 12.1% 15.3% 18.3% 21.1% 23.8% 26.2%
1 MW EWT DW61 8.6% 12.4% 16.0% 19.4% 22.6% 25.6% N/A N/A
3 MW Enercon E82 7.1% 11.1% 15.1% 19.0% 22.9% 26.6% 30.2% 33.7%
3.5 MW Enercon E126 EP3 21.0% 26.8% 32.5% 38.1% 43.3% 48.3% 52.9% 57.7%

If electricity cannot be consumed on site the Return On Investment for a wind turbine project will be lower but is still good for high wind speed sites. Assuming a design life of 20 years for a good quality modern wind turbine and a typical exported electricity price of 6.5 p/kWh, the following table of Return On Investment ( Internal Rates of Return – IRRs) can be constructed for a range of turbines installed on a range of sites with annual mean wind speeds ranging from 5 to 8.5 m/s. This assumes all energy is exported to the National Grid.

Maximum Power Output Example Turbines IRR’s for sites with for the following annual average wind speeds:
5.0 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 8.5
900 kW EWT DW52 -3.3% -0.7% 1.6% 3.7% 5.7% 7.4% 9.0% 10.4%
1 MW EWT DW61 -0.9% 1.8% 4.2% 6.3% 8.3% 10.0% N/A N/A
3 MW Enercon E82 -2.0% 1.1% 3.9% 6.5% 9.0% 11.3% 13.4% 15.4%
3.5 MW Enercon E126 EP3 7.7% 11.2% 14.6% 17.8% 20.7% 23.4% 25.9% 28.8%

Clearly the potential return on investment is very good especially if energy can be used on site, but always remember that wind projects can take two to three years to deliver and that there is no guarantee that a project will succeed until planning consent has been obtained.

The first step for any wind project is a good quality wind feasibility study which will analyse everything in detail, identify any potential project risks and recommend the best way to proceed with the project.
 
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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