The first French wind program was launched in 1996. Since then, their wind power development has continued to increase, to reach a cumulative value of 15.1 GW at the end of 2018.

In 2019, around 6% of the installed wind turbine capacity in France will become older than 15 years. Considering that wind turbines have been typically designed for a 20-year period, it raises the question of the follow-up to be given to the ageing wind farms.

Wind energy professionals have already begun examining the different possibilities, based on the experience from countries with more mature markets. Three main trends could have been identified:

1) Decommissioning, with a complete interruption of operations

2) Revamping: using retrofits and other refurbishment options to extend the operation of the wind farm

3) Repowering: replacing the existing turbines with more powerful ones

The choice of one strategy over another will depend on the feasibility combined with the associated business model.

Perrine Bugeat – Asset Manager