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How Much Does a Wind Turbine Cost? (in 2024)

wind turbine in the field

Wind energy is crucial to green energy, and being a clean energy source, we can expect to see more use of wind power as time goes by.

Wind turbines generate electricity from the kinetic energy from the wind. They can be used for commercial and small-scale industries to generate electricity, maximizing the advantages of the wind and the environment. This way, you’ll produce emission-free power.

Besides commercial wind turbines, you can also buy a small wind turbine to produce electricity for your home. We’ll discuss the cost of commercial and small-scale wind turbines.

So, read along with us to learn more!

divider 7 The Importance of a Wind Turbine

Wind turbines are common types of alternative energy. They reduce greenhouse gas emissions, provide renewable energy, and improve the environment. Here are several benefits of wind turbines.

1. They Reduce our Dependence on Fossil Fuels

Wind turbines are an eco-friendly way of generating electricity and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. Also, they don’t produce greenhouse gasses or other pollutants.

Wind farms are becoming more popular as technology advances. Besides, more people understand the benefits of using renewable energy sources like wind.

2.  You Do Not Need to Refuel Wind Turbines to Generate Electricity

Wind Turbine Power
Image Credit: TeeFarm, Pixabay

Unlike fossil fuel-based energy sources such as coal or oil, you don’t need to refuel wind turbines to generate electricity. This makes them one of the most sustainable forms of renewable energy today, as they don’t need any outside fuel source to produce energy.

In addition, they’re highly efficient as they require little maintenance compared to traditional energy sources such as coal or nuclear power.

3. They’re More Efficient with New Technology

Wind turbines have come a long way since their invention. Today’s models are more efficient, thanks to new technologies such as variable-pitch blades that allow them to capture more energy from slower winds.

It means you can expect even more growth in this industry over time. More countries and homes are investing in new wind turbine technology and making it a part of their daily lives.

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How Much Does a Wind Turbine Cost?

The cost of wind turbines varies depending on size and quality. The size of the turbine will determine how much electricity it can produce. The larger the size, the more electricity it’ll generate. Of course, a larger turbine is more expensive.

There are commercial (large-scale) and home (small-scale) turbines. The cost of a commercial wind turbine is higher than that of a small-scale wind turbine. The reason is that commercial wind turbines are made from high-quality materials. Also, they’re massive and designed to last for years.

The most expensive commercial wind turbines also have sophisticated controls. They help maximize their output and generate more electricity than small-scale wind turbines used at home.

Here, we’ll break down the cost of commercial and small-scale wind turbines.

Wind Turbine Power
Image Credit: Al3xanderD, Pixabay

1. Commercial Wind Turbine

It’s a large, industrial-grade wind turbine that generates large amounts of electricity from the wind’s kinetic energy. This electricity connects to the national grid. The electricity produced by large-scale wind turbines is measured in megawatts or gigawatts.

A commercial wind turbine that generates one megawatt costs $1,300,000 to $2,200,000. Many commercial wind turbines have a two to three megawatts capacity. But offshore wind turbines can have 12 MW (megawatts) of power. As the size of a wind turbine increases, so does the cost.

A commercial wind turbine has three primary components.

They are:
  • Tower: It’s the most costly component. It’s 26.6% of the turbine’s total cost.
  • Rotor Blades and Hub: They’re the second most costly components accounting for 22% of the total cost.
  • Generator and Gearbox: These two components account for 13% of the total commercial wind turbine cost.

2. Small-Scale Wind Turbine (Home)

The average cost of a home wind turbine is $3,000 to $5,000 per kilowatt. A home wind turbine can be as cheap as $100 or as costly as $80,000. It depends on various factors that we shall discuss later in this handy guide.

Here are several types of small-scale wind turbines and their costs.

Small-Scale Wind Turbine Electricity Generation Cost
Micro-Turbines (Used for battery charging and recreational vehicles) 400 watts $400
Combination of Wind Turbines and Solar 400 watts (wind turbine) and four-100 watts (mono solar panels), making a total of 800 watts $2,000
High-Powered Small Turbines 3,000 watts $4,200

You can install wind turbines on your property in many different locations depending on your needs and the space available on your property.

So, do you live in an area with no utility lines and want to power your entire home with renewable energy sources? If yes, you need many wind turbines installed in diverse locations around your property.

They can even be installed across many properties. That’s if owned by members of your family or friends who want to power their homes using this energy source.

Wind Turbine Power
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Factors Affecting the Cost of a Wind Turbine

Wind turbines are inexpensive compared to other renewable energy sources. The cost will depend on several factors.

Here are some of them:
  • The Capacity of the Wind Turbine: The capacity of a wind turbine is measured in kilowatts (kW). It means that if you have a 1 kW wind turbine, it can generate 1,000 watts of electricity. The higher the capacity of your wind turbine, the more energy you will generate. A high-capacity wind turbine will have a high upfront cost.
  • Type of the Wind Turbine: There are two primary wind turbine types (vertical axis and horizontal turbines). A horizontal axis wind turbine has blades that spin in an upright position. On the flip side, a vertical axis wind turbine has blades that spin at an angle to the ground. Vertical axis turbines are more expensive than horizontal axis turbines. It’s because they have more moving parts and need more complex engineering.
  • Blades Material: The blades are crucial parts of a turbine. The primary materials used for making blades are fiberglass and carbon fiber. Glass-fiber reinforced plastic is also used. Carbon fiber is more expensive than fiberglass. But it’s lighter, stronger, and more durable than fiberglass. Besides, it offers better corrosion resistance. It makes it ideal for coastal locations where corrosion is an issue.
  • Installation Costs: Installation cost includes labor and materials needed to install the tower and rotor blades, and the cost of hiring an electrician to connect the wind turbine to the electrical system or grid. For example, new wiring or cables are needed to run through conduits from where the tower will be installed to where they need to go.
  • Quality of the Wind Turbine: This is a crucial factor as it can affect its efficiency and durability. A wind turbine with high-quality parts is more efficient in converting wind energy into electricity. Also, it’ll last longer than those with low-quality components. However, it will cost more.

Extra Costs to Expect for Commercial Wind Turbines

The initial cost of installing a wind turbine is only the first step. You'll also need to consider extra costs such as maintenance and repair.
  • Installation: The installation of a commercial wind turbine can be complicated and costly. It’ll need more labor than residential wind turbine systems. Besides, larger and more powerful wind turbine systems may need deeper foundations than those for a residential home. This can increase the total cost significantly.
  • O&M (Operation and Maintenance): O&M refers to all costs (including parts) associated with operating and maintaining your equipment over time. Maintenance can be expensive; it needs specialized knowledge and tools, which may be costly if they need replacement often. Besides, there are costs associated with replacing parts such as blades.
Operation and maintenance of a commercial wind turbine consist of:
  • Land rent
  • Repair, service, and spare parts
  • Power
  • Administrative tasks
  • Insurance
  • Miscellaneous

The operating and maintenance cost is between $42,000 and $48,000 annually. This cost may drop due to advancements in technology, but it will increase as the turbine ages.

Extra Costs for Home Wind Turbines (Small-Scale)

Extra Costs:
  • Installation: The installation cost of a home wind turbine depends on how much work needs to be done to connect the turbine to your electrical system. Your house may have a utility room or basement where you can run wiring from the blade hub through a conduit. This way, it’ll be easier, and less expensive than running wires under the house. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire an electrician to do this work for you.
  • Taxes: The cost of taxes can vary depending on where you live, but it’s crucial to account for them in your budget. You can take advantage of tax credits when you install renewable sources like wind turbines and solar panels. Usually, these credits are equal to 30% of the total wind turbine cost.
  • Insurance: Insurance companies consider wind turbines to be high-risk structures because they’re tall and fragile compared to other buildings. You may need to pay higher premiums. Also, you may need to buy extra insurance coverage for damage caused by a lightning strike or falling debris.

How Often Should Wind Turbines Undergo Maintenance Checks?

Wind turbines are complex machines. They can also be subject to wear and tear, affecting their performance. Regular maintenance checks ensure that the turbine is in excellent working condition. Both commercial and home wind turbines need maintenance two to three times a year.

Periodic maintenance checks help identify any issues at an early stage. This way, they can be dealt with before they become significant problems. Wind turbines can last for 20 years, but with proper maintenance they can go up to 25 years.

divider 7 Conclusion

Wind turbines can be a remarkable way to save money on electricity for your business or home. They are efficient and produce little noise. Besides, they’re ideal for generating power from a renewable source.

With the cost of wind power coming down in recent years, wind turbines have become more popular than ever. Wind power is still more expensive than traditional forms of power generation, but it also has its merits. It will soon be much more accessible to homeowners. Even if this doesn’t apply to you now, being aware of these changes can be valuable for the future.

Featured Image Credit: b1-foto, Pixabay


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