Modeling Offshore Wind Installation Costs

  • Mark J. Kaiser
  • Brian F. Snyder
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


The costs of offshore wind power exceed onshore wind costs, in part due to added expenses associated with offshore installation. In this chapter, we model the installation costs of offshore wind projects and perform sensitivity analysis to identify the variables most responsible for uncertainty and risk. We adopt a bottom-up engineering approach based on current technologies and expected market conditions for the period 2012–2017 to estimate stage-specific installation costs. The time required for specific installation activities (travel time, loading time, installation time, etc.) is estimated based on empirical data and benchmark studies described in previous chapters. Offshore wind farms are characterized in terms of their nameplate capacity, turbine capacity, and distance to port and shore. The user is required to provide information on vessel selection, installation strategy, and market and contract conditions, and the output is the cost as a function of the model factors. The model is illustrated for three planned US wind farms (Cape Wind, Bluewater Delaware, and Coastal Point Galveston) and costs are estimated to range from $130,000 to $370,000 per MW. Cost is relatively insensitive to distance to port, but unit costs decline significantly with larger turbine capacity and increase with the time required for installation. The limitations of the analysis are described.


Wind Farm Offshore Wind Installation Cost Vessel Type Installation Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark J. Kaiser
    • 1
  • Brian F. Snyder
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Energy StudiesLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA

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