Report: As Wind Projects Age, O&M Costs Will Rise

Tax credits are expected to continue the wind turbine market’s rapid growth for a least a few more years, according to a recent IHS Markit report.

But the coming market slowdown will result in significantly higher costs for operations and maintenance (O&M). The Sept. 10 report projects that expenses for wind power assets will cost the industry around $7.5 billion annually by 2021.

Currently, North American wind O&M costs between $5 billion and $6 billion each year, but that is expected to surpass $8.3 billion annually by 2027, or close to a 40% increase. IHS Markit analysts say the increased expense comes as additional maintenance is needed for both the newer projects as well as the aging wind power assets.