Construction Costs Of US Onshore Wind Turbines Drop 27% In 6 Years

A surge in wind turbine installation in the US “Wind Belt” coincided with a 27 percent decline in average costs to build and install the emission-free power source throughout the United States during a six-year period ending in 2019, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday.

“The average U.S. construction cost for onshore wind generators fell from $1,895 per kilowatt (kW) in 2013 to $1,391/kW in 2019,” the EIA said in a report.

The decline coincided with a 74 percent increase in US onshore wind generating capacity of 104 gigawatts (GW), with nearly 10 percent of the increase (9.6 GW) installed in 2019 alone, the report said.

The US state of Texas led the decline in costs, with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), manager of about 90 percent of the state’s electric load, reporting wind power costs of $1,114 per kilowatt (kW) in 2019, the report added.

ERCOT installed the most wind capacity of any US electricity market region in 2019 (3.5 GW) and also had the most total wind capacity (26 GW) as of December 2019, according to the report.

Texas is part of the US “Wind Belt” a region in the central and southwestern United States with some of the nation’s “best wind resources,” the report said.

In addition to Texas, the Wind Belt states of New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado were among the least expensive in the US for constructing wind generating capacity from 2013 to 2019, the report said.