Development of a whole life cost model for offshore wind farms

Mahmood Shafiee, Feargal Brennan, Inés Armada Espinosa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book


This paper presents a Cost Breakdown Structure (CBS) to identify the key cost drivers of offshore wind farms throughout the whole life span (∼25 years). A mathematical tool is also developed to evaluate all the costs associated with five phases of offshore wind projects, namely, Pre-development and Consenting (P&C), Production and Acquisition (P&A), Installation and Commissioning (I&C), Operation and Maintenance (O&M), and Decommissioning and Disposal (D&D). Several critical factors such as geographical location and meteorological conditions, power rating and capacity factor of wind turbines, reliability of subassemblies, and availability and accessibility of transportation means are taken into account in cost analyses. The O&M costs are assessed using the data available in failure databases (e.g. fault logs and O&M reports) and the data supplied by inspection agencies. A Net Present Value (NPV) approach is used to quantify the current value of future cash flows and a bottom-up estimate of the overall cost is obtained. Finally, the model is tested on an offshore 500 MW baseline wind farm project. Our results indicate that the capital cost of wind turbines and their sub-assemblies as well as the installation cost account for the largest proportion of LCC, followed by the O&M costs. A sensitivity analysis is also conducted to identify those factors having the greatest impact on Levelized Cost Of Energy (LCOE).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSafety and Reliability of Complex Engineered Systems
Place of PublicationLeiden
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event25th European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2015 - Zurich, Swaziland
Duration: 7 Sep 201510 Sep 2015


Conference25th European Safety and Reliability Conference, ESREL 2015


  • offshore wind farms
  • whole life cost model
  • renewable energy


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