Repowering is the process to replace older first-generation wind turbines with modern units that are quieter, more reliable and capable of producing more electricity, more efficiently. The process is carried out within a timeframe that allows us to replace older units before they come to the end of their operational life. There is no doubt that repowering is an important and growing market that will help Scotland achieve its renewable energy targets, with the chief driver for repowering being the vast improvement in turbine technology over the last 10 years.
With many first-generation turbines now beyond manufacturers' warranty periods, the desire to avoid potentially expensive repairs is a big motivation for replacing turbines that may still be working perfectly well. Reliability of older generation turbines drops with age and scarcity of spares can also drive up operating and maintenance costs. As well as obtaining a greater income from increased generation, modern turbines are far more reliable than their predecessors with the improvements in turbine technology in recent years.
Repowering maximises energy generation and updates a country's turbine fleet to the latest technology standards, benefitting the environment and consumers alike. But like any renewable energy project, the numbers have to add up to make it viable. Just as with new projects, the electricity price and the amount of subsidy support is key in deciding whether to repower or not. It is for example usually not possible to transfer a farm's FiT payment on an older turbine to a new project, therefore, it is important to look closely at the economics of repowering to make sure it works for you.
To repower a site, planning permission from the local authority is required in exactly the same way as it would for a brand new site. 3R Energy specialise in reviewing your current circumstances and helping you understand if repowering works for you. If you were one of the first landowners to have a wind turbine(s) on your land, 3R Energy can help you investigate the potential to repower your first-generation turbine(s) to deliver more efficient, more reliable, more environmentally friendly and, crucially, more economic wind generation from your site.