Thinking Wind Power? Think Second-Hand Turbines.

While no-one can claim that the last two or three years of recession have been a boom-time for the wind industry with turbine manufacturers laying off  workers and plants closing, the second-hand market for wind turbines has not been as hard hit. And with a general upturn in wind’s fortunes predicted there has been a surge of second-hand turbine interest and activity so far in 2013.
This is partly due to interest from private investors and small partnerships of investors in Europe (particularly Eastern Europe) and Latin America keen to snap up a bargain.
Thinking Wind Power? Think Second-Hand Turbines.
Take the Dutch-based firm Windbrokers for example;  in the first four months of 2013, it has already received orders worth EUR 5 million. Henk van den Bosch, the firm’s managing director, says that it is becoming a lucrative market due to private buyers financing projects.
Here too at MWPS, business is booming. There are a number of reasons. One is that even though wind turbines have an expected life of at least two decades,  many are prematurely declared redundant as wind farm owners are attracted to new and higher powered models. Germany and Denmark, in particular, are countries where all the windiest sites have already been developed.  The decommissioned wind turbines can have a renewed existence, especially in countries where space is not an issue, and where they may be taking their first steps towards renewable energy.
Thinking Wind Power? Think Second-Hand Turbines.
Many turbines offered at MWPS and other second-hand wind turbine sites still have ten or more years of useful life in them, more with appropriate maintenance. That means there’s a good opportunity for investors to make money- because they are a lot cheaper than new models. Another good reason to go for second-hand (or pre-owned, or re-commissioned or even “bedded-in”) wind turbines is that they will include a large number of tried and tested quality models from top manufacturers, such as Enercon, Goldwing and Vestas. Many older models have established great reputations for reliability and low maintenance, and are sought over and above new and more expensive models, yet to prove themselves except at test sites. Even conversion between 50hz and 60hz is becoming more cost-acceptable, while turbine transport has developed both overground and at sea to become more competitive, making re-siting of used turbines much more cost-friendly in transportation terms.
Thinking Wind Power? Think Second-Hand Turbines.
Vestas says that it can offer spare parts to all turbines it has in service.  Many wind-turbine manufacturers and owners now make use of third-party components as well.  There has been some reluctance for some grid operators to allow connection to farms using older second-hand turbines, in case they are unreliable, inefficient and therefore affect the grid’s ability to supply a constant flow of the electricity required. However with a 20 year life span, second-hand turbines can be just as reliable as new ones, and the increase this year of  interest in buying, refurbishing, and installing second-hand turbines, indicates that things are changing.

Watch this space and snap up a bargain!

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