New Guide Helps Communities Weigh Options for Aging Wind Turbines

Feb. 6, 2023

Over 70,000 land-based wind turbines are installed across the United States, and that number will continue to grow to reach state and federal renewable energy goals. Many of these turbines are new, but some older turbines are reaching the end of their service life—the period of time during which they can operate with minimal repairs or upgrades.

Communities have two options for turbines at the end of their service life: repowering and decommissioning. In the case of repowering, a wind energy project’s owners replace some or all of a turbine’s components with newer technology. In the case of decommissioning, a wind energy project’s owners remove the wind turbines and associated infrastructure entirely and restore the land that was used for the wind energy project.

To help communities better understand these options, WINDExchange has released the Wind Energy End-of-Service Guide. The guide offers details on the processes, methods, costs, and impacts associated with repowering and decommissioning wind turbines and can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF.

Explore the Wind Energy End-of-Service Guide to learn more about repowering and decommissioning processes for wind turbines and related infrastructure. Be sure to also check out WINDExchange’s other resources for helping communities understand the benefits and impacts of wind energy, including the Small Community Wind Handbook, the Land-Based Wind Energy Economic Development Guide, and the Land-Based Wind Energy Siting report.