A Detailed Wind Turbine Blade Cost Model

Pietro Bortolotti, Derek Berry, Robynne Murray, Evan Gaertner, Dale Jenne, Garrett Barter, Rick Damiani, Katherine Dykes

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This technical report describes a detailed blade cost model for wind turbine blades in the range of 30 to 100 meters in length. The model estimates the bill of materials, the number of labor hours and the cycle time, and the costs related to direct labor, overhead, buildings, tooling, equipment, maintenance, and capital. The model applies to multimegawatt wind turbine blades manufactured via vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding, which is the most commonly adopted manufacturing method for modern wind turbine blades. The model is implemented both in a large Excel file and in Python. The latter is freely available in the repository of the Wind-Plant Integrated System Design and Engineering Model (WISDEM[R]) github.com/WISDEM. WISDEM is a multidisciplinary analysis and optimization design framework developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This blade cost model represents a valuable tool to run design optimization studies for wind turbines. In this report, the model is first presented with its approach and assumptions and then computes the costs of three blades, namely the 33-meter-long Wind Partnership for Advanced Component Technologies (WindPACT) study blade, the 63-meter-long International Energy Agency (IEA) Wind Task 37 land-based reference wind turbine blade, and the 100-meter-long SNL-100-03 blade developed at Sandia National Laboratories.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages69
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5000-73585


  • blade cost model
  • systems engineering
  • wind energy
  • wind turbine
  • wind turbine blade


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