Wind Farm Development and Operation - A Case Study

This Application Note presents a case study for the development of a small wind farm. It discusses each of the four phases of a wind project in detail.

The initiation and feasibility phase section includes site selection criteria and a discussion of the methodology for the assessment of the likely energy yield – a critically important factor in the investment decision. Often, several sites will need to be investigated before making a selection.

During the pre-building phase the necessary planning and building permissions must be obtained and a connection contract negotiated with the local network operator. The feed-in tariff – the money received for the energy produced – must also be negotiated. Decisions made during these early stages determine the return on investment of the farm.

Building and Operation and Maintenance follow with details of the steps to be taken to ensure rapid commissioning and reliable operation. The note concludes with a financial analysis highlighting the importance of an accurate energy yield assessment and adequate feed-in tariff.

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Highlights

  • Even a medium size wind farm requires a substantial area, and many land use restrictions are in force
  • Obtaining a planning permit, a building permit and a network connection contract takes time
  • Government incentives are often a decisive factor for the profitability of the project
  • An accurate energy yield assessment is crucial to achieve the predicted profitability

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