December 4, 2017 Read More →

$40 Billion Investment Opportunity Seen in U.S. Wind-Farm Upgrades

GreenTech Media:

North America’s aging fleet of wind turbines could lead to a surge in operations and maintenance spending through 2030, according to a report released this month by IHS Markit. The report found cumulative O&M spending for the wind energy sector in the United States and Canada will top $40 billion from 2015 to 2025.

“The average age of the North American wind fleet will rise from 5.5 years in 2015 to 7 years in 2020, and to 14 years in 2030,” said Maxwell Cohen, senior research analyst at IHS Markit and co-author of the report, in a statement.

Cohen and co-author Ryan Siavelis gathered data from nearly one-third of the wind energy market in North America — 300 wind projects comprising nearly 20,000 turbines — to prepare the analysis.

By 2030, an older, larger turbine fleet in the United States and Canada — estimated at more than 70,000 turbines — will present service providers with ample opportunities for growth. “The age of that capacity in 2030 will make the O&M business very lucrative, which is why so many players are expanding into this sector of the business,” said Siavelis in a statement.

Cohen and Siavelis identified Suzlon, Siemens Gamesa, MHI and Vestas among the original equipment manufacturers that have entered the space in pursuit of wind O&M service agreements.

Analysts at MAKE Consulting likewise see significant growth opportunities in wind turbine services. MAKE’s own wind turbine O&M report was published this month. By 2026, the report found, the global wind turbine services market could exceed $27 billion. MAKE Consulting is owned by Wood Mackenzie, Greentech Media’s parent company.

To address an aging wind turbine fleet and increasing O&M expenditures, project owners are increasingly turning to repowering — replacing obsolete turbines with new more powerful turbines at the same project site, or replacing select components such as blades or gearboxes on existing turbines.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that annual repowering investment in the United States could reach $25 billion by 2030.

More: Repowering North America’s Aging Wind Turbines Is a $25 Billion Opportunity

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