Land-Based Wind Plant Balance-of-System Cost Drivers and Sensitivities

Christopher Mone, Benjamin Maples

Research output: NRELPoster


With Balance of System (BOS) costs contributing up to 30% of the installed capital cost, it is fundamental to understand the BOS costs for wind projects as well as potential cost trends for larger turbines. NREL developed a BOS model using project cost estimates developed by industry partners. Aspects of BOS covered include engineering and permitting, foundations for various wind turbines, transportation, civil work, and electrical arrays. The data introduce new scaling relationships for each BOS component to estimate cost as a function of turbine parameters and size, project parameters and size, and geographic characteristics. Based on the new BOS model, an analysis to understand the non-turbine wind plant costs associated with turbine sizes ranging from 1-6 MW and wind plant sizes ranging from 100-1000 MW has been conducted. This analysis establishes a more robust baseline cost estimate, identifies the largest cost components of wind project BOS, and explores the sensitivity of the capital investment cost and the levelized cost of energy to permutations in each BOS cost element. This presentation shows results from the model that illustrate the potential impact of turbine size and project size on the cost of energy from US wind plants.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NamePresented at the 2014 American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) Windpower Conference and Exhibition, 5-8 May 2014, Las Vegas, Nevada

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-6A20-61546


  • balance of systems (BOS)
  • BOS
  • LCOE
  • wind


Dive into the research topics of 'Land-Based Wind Plant Balance-of-System Cost Drivers and Sensitivities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this