Oct 27, 2017

US wind farms are getting upgraded

Sophie Chapman
2 min
Wind turbines are reaching 10 to 20 years old and need upgrading
At least 10GW of turbines in US are more than 10 years old, which is 12% of country’s wind capacity. 600MG of wind farms...

At least 10GW of turbines in US are more than 10 years old, which is 12% of country’s wind capacity.

600MG of wind farms have already undergone substantial upgrading, mainly within California.

The largest producer of North American wind power, NextEra Inc, stated on 26 October that it anticipates having to spend US$3bn on upgrading and replacing aged turbines.

This wave of refurbishments has been dubbed “repowerings” by the industry, and may affect around 30% of the nation’s farms over the next three years.


Towards the end of 2016, it was noted that almost 12% of the US’s installed capacity is aged between 10 and 20 years. It is at this age that owners consider replacing them.

Mark Goodwin, President of the Virginia-based Apex Clean Energy Inc., was speaking on a panel discussion at the AWEA Wind Energy Finance and Investment conference in New York.

He commented that the prospect becoming useless at the age of 20 “is ridiculous”.

MidAmerican Energy Co. has promised last month to upgrade hundreds of aged turbines at power plants across the state of Iowa.

By the end of next year, another 14GW of functioning wind turbines will have hot 10 years of age.

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Apr 23, 2021

Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition

Dominic Ellis
2 min
Drax is advancing biomass following Pinnacle acquisition it reported in a trading update

Drax' recently completed acquisition of Pinnacle more than doubles its sustainable biomass production capacity and significantly reduces its cost of production, it reported in a trading update.

The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.

The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).

Drax CEO Will Gardiner said its Q1 performance had been "robust", supported by the sale of Drax Generation Enterprise, which holds four CCGT power stations, to VPI Generation.

This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.

In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.

The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.

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