Perhaps the most-noticeable (and most-notable) feature of the evolution in wind turbine design in recent years has been the substantial growth in rotor size, particularly relative to the more-modest increase in nameplate capacity—leading to a reduction in the average “specific power” rating (in W/m2) of wind turbines installed in the United States. In this webinar, a team of LBNL and NREL researchers will present key findings from their recent analysis of the costs and benefits of this evolution in turbine design. First, we explore the historical trend toward deploying lower-specific-power turbines and the drivers of that trend. Next, we present findings from geospatial LCOE analysis across the United States to illuminate the extent to which this trend toward lower specific power is likely to continue. Finally, recognizing that cost is only part of the story, we assess the impact of taller, lower-specific-power turbines on the market value of wind energy, focusing primarily on wholesale energy and capacity value, but also including impacts on transmission and balancing costs, as well as financing terms.
A pre-print of an article recently published in "Wind Engineering" that covers a portion of the content presented in this webinar is available here: https://emp.lbl.gov/publications/opportunities-and-challenges-further
Presenters: Mark Bolinger (LBNL), Dev Millstein (LBNL), and Eric Lantz (NREL)