How much will a community wind turbine earn?

A community group purchases a large wind turbine (33 metre rotor diameter, 50 metre tower) with a rated capacity of 330 kW.

Say that including planning, installation and connection, a new turbine cost around £500,000 to set up (refurbished turbines are cheaper but not eligible for FiT income).

Installed in an exposed location with strong wind speeds, that turbine could produce 700,000 kWh per year. All the electricity is exported to the grid. From 1 April 2017 the generation tariff for wind power at this scale is 3.22 pence per kWh and the export tariff is 5.03p per kWh.

The community can expect to receive:

Generation tariff:
700,000kWh x £0.0322/kWh
£22,540
Export tariff:
700,000kWh x £0.0503/kWh
£35,210
Less annual maintenance
expense (5% of capital cost)
-£25,000
Total annual income

£32,750

The turbine will have paid off the initial cost in about 15 years, and could generate profits of around £150,000 over a 20-year period (more if it continues for longer). For more advice on community renewables, see How do I set up a community renewable scheme?

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