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Chart of the Week

2020

I’ve got the (re)power: extensions & repowering in onshore wind

James Brabben Wholesale Manager

With the release of our latest Renewables Pipeline Tracker Report, this week’s 'Chart of the week' analyses the report findings for repowering and extensions of onshore wind sites in GB. This sector of the market has not as yet seen the same attention from policymakers as new build. However, without re-powering activity the current ~13GW onshore wind fleet could start to reduce in size from 2027 when many Roc accreditations end. Between 2027 and 2030 we forecast up to 3.6GW of existing onshore wind assets could drop out of the RO scheme, with the majority approaching the end of an assumed 20-25 year economic lifespan. With the time taken to obtain planning and grid agreements lengthy for new build assets, the repowering and extension of existing onshore wind sites presents a prime opportunity to limit the demands placed on new capacity needed to meet net zero targets. Developers and project owners have not been slow so understand this, with extensions and repowering applications going back to 2008 in our analysis. However, an increase in activity has been seen in recent years as projects age. Our chart shows onshore wind farms that have applied for (and sometimes achieved) planning permission for extensions and repowering to existing sites. This equates to 20 projects totalling 665MW, predominantly located across Scotland. Of the 20 sites, 16 are classified as extensions with 4 considered full re-powering plans. Using publicly available data, we have plotted two key variables to assess the new sites – average turbine capacity and the total number of ...

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