Repowering wind in the US for a climate-neutral future
The US seems to have embraced repowering as a zero-carbon solution by continuing attractive subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act, but repowers still face big hurdles. This report gives an overview of issues confronting owners.
About this report
Repowering of wind projects in the US is set to attract $25 billion a year in spending by 2030. In parts of Europe, repowering is already a matter of course. Germany and Denmark have long histories of incentivising wind repowering.
Yet North American wind repowering is just getting off the ground. This potentially tens-of-GW market could be vital to meeting the US’s 2030 climate goals by ensuring wind projects are not shut down prematurely and existing developed land and transmission are used efficiently.
The US seems to have embraced repowering as a zero-carbon solution, including it in an extended and expanded tax credit subsidy regime for clean technologies under the newly passed Inflation Reduction Act.
While the previous US tax credit scheme supported repowering, the expanded tax credit scheme, alongside flagship repowering projects and aging wind fleets, has owners and operators looking closely at new financial opportunities.
Repowering is not without its teething problems. Local opposition to the bigger and more productive turbines is rising. What’s more, taller turbines risk coming into conflict with the US federal government’s review process for structures able to cause radar interference.
In addition, the narrative that repowering wind has no added climate benefits, e.g. “additionality”, is one wind stakeholders must correct so that the emissions benefits of repowers are recognised in federal, state as well as corporate ESG guidance.
The following report, based on our Wind Investment Boardroom event, assesses the status of American wind repowering.
This report collects insights from renewable experts:
- Vann Gupta, Vice President, Asset Development, Brookfield Renewable US
- John Clapp, Chief Financial Officer, Scout Clean Energy
- Borja Munoz, Business Development Director, OX2
- Eli Davis, Director, National Australia Bank
- Ben Stafford, Sales and Commercial Executive, GE Renewable Energy
- Juan Carlos Puente, Chief Financial Officer, Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind