NREL's Balance-of-System Cost Model for Land-Based Wind

Annika Eberle, Joseph Roberts, Parangat Bhaskar, Alicia Key, Katherine Dykes

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


NREL's Land-based Balance of System Systems Engineering (LandBOSSE) model is a tool for modeling the balance of system (BOS) costs of land-based wind plants. BOS costs currently account for approximately 30% of the capital expenditures needed to install a land-based wind plant and include all costs associated with installing a wind plant, such as permitting, labor, material, and equipment costs associated with site preparation, foundation construction, electrical infrastructure, and tower installation. NREL developed LandBOSSE after identifying a need for a hybrid of process-based and empirically derived model that can provide flexibility for assessing wind plant BOS costs at a system level. NREL's prior BOS models have relied on empirical fits of legacy industry data, which limit their predictive ability. LandBOSSE, however, was designed to help users explore tradeoffs between innovative design scenarios while balancing the level of detail and speed required for model execution. The model was developed using a hybrid of process-based and empirically derived methods to create a modular model design that will allow for updates as wind energy technology evolves. The goal of LandBOSSE is to allow researchers, analysts, wind power developers, government agencies, and the public to explore how BOS may vary for different wind plant designs. This report summarizes the approach, methods, and equations used to develop LandBOSSE Version 2.1 (hereafter referred to as LandBOSSE 2.1). Future versions of the model may incorporate additional process-based capabilities or modify calculations within the code. Please refer to the GitHub repository at for the most up-to-date version of the software documentation and code.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages71
StatePublished - 2019

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-72201


  • cost model
  • LandBOSSE
  • wind
  • WMA


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