Offshore wind: installation costs by vessel?

An offshore wind project is likely to cost $2,500/kW, of which c$1,500/kW is turbines and $1,000/kW is offshore wind installation costs. This data-file aims to estimate the breakdown by vessel type, day-rates and costs per turbine.

Estimates range from 25 to 100 vessels being deployed in the installation of a typical offshore wind project, across different studies and technical papers.

Our base case estimate is that each turbine will require 10 days to install, consuming 100 “vessel days”, of which c10% are highly specialized vessels (data here).

The highest day-rates will be commanded by the most specialized vessels, and we think this includes wind turbine installation vessels, cable lay vessels (both intra-wind farm and for the export cable to shore), and foundation vessels that drive monopiles or jackets/piles into the seabed.

Offshore installation costs are sensitive and can realistically range from $800-2,500/kW, depending on project parameters.

These installation costs come on top of the underlying turbine costs, which we think are usually going to be around $1,500/kW per our cost breakdown of a wind turbine.

Economies of scale are achieved by using larger turbines in larger projects. Conversely, costs re-inflate when moving further from shore and into deeper water.

Please see our broader research into wind and solar and the ramp-up of renewables in our roadmap to net zero.

Please download the data-file to stress-test the numbers and see our estimates for the breakdown of offshore wind installation costs by vessel type.

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