Life-span of a wind farm
A wind farm is typically built based upon a long-term purchase agreement or PPA. These purchase agreements are typically 25 years or more and the life span of a wind farm on average is several decades. The majority of Oklahoma’s wind farms are less than 10 years old and represent the newest and most modern technology available in renewable energy.
What happens after 25 years?
There are two options at the end of a wind farm’s life span:
1. Repowering – As newer, upgraded technology becomes available, renewable energy companies find keep the site in use, but replace older equipment known as “repowering.” Oklahoma wind farms are already known to have the best “wind resource” in the Nation and, with the significant investment made in transmission access, it is more economic to repower the site as upgraded wind farms will produce electricity at a lower cost.
2. Decommissioning – While it is unusual, project owners may decide to completely remove a wind farm, which is called “decommissioning.” It is in a company’s best business interest to recycle and reuse equipment.
Good stewards of land and environment
However, it should be known that an energy company is always responsible for the removal of the turbines and landowners and the State of Oklahoma will never face the cost of removal.
In fact, the wind industry in Oklahoma will ensure the land is completely restored in the advent of the removal of a wind farm. This includes, removal of wind turbines, towers, and foundations leaving our land in its former condition.
This is yet another example of the Oklahoma wind industry’s commitment to being good stewards of the land as well as the environment.