New Study Finds Wind Plant Performance Changes Only Slightly with Age

May 14, 2020

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has published a new study that presents the first comprehensive evaluation of how the performance of wind plants in the United States changes as they age. Understanding the rate at which performance declines is important for estimating wind plant financial viability and for validating long-term models of the wind sector. Furthermore, this rate is often not accounted for by investors, energy modelers, or policymakers. The study shows that U.S. wind plants maintain high performance over long periods of time and exhibit relatively low performance decline (87% of peak performance after 17 years). Newer plants (built in 2008 or later) show almost no decline over the first 10 years of their lifetime.