Wind Farm Life Expectancy Evaluation

Location: Cloud County, Kan.

Client: Empire District Electric Co.

Completion Date: 2007

Burns & McDonnell provided a wind farm life expectancy evaluation on the Meridian Way Wind Farm in Cloud County, Kan. Horizon Wind Energy, the developer and operator of the project, will use Vestas V90 3-MW turbines to generate about 100 MW of energy on this farm. Empire District Electric Co. will take delivery of power from the wind farm and needed an estimate of its useful project life for purposes of financial due diligence and proper accounting. The evaluation included due diligence on the turbines and an evaluation of the life expectancy of other wind farm components.

  • Wind turbine due diligence
  • Wind farm life expectancy evaluation

Empire District Electric Co. is based in Joplin, Mo., and was looking to expand its portfolio of energy sources in the renewable market. It is working with Horizon Wind Energy to develop a wind farm in Cloud County, Kan. Empire District Electric has signed a purchase power agreement for all the energy produced at the Meridian Way Wind Farm, and Horizon Wind Energy will be responsible for project development and on going operations.

Empire District Electric retained Burns & McDonnell to evaluate the life expectancy of the project because its purchase power agreement is for 20 years and the estimated life expectancy of the project will determine the accounting treatment of the agreement.

The Burns & McDonnell scope of work included a life expectancy assessment of wind farm assets:

  • Access roads
  • Electrical gathering system
  • Wind turbine foundations
  • Wind turbines (Vestas V90 3 MW)

The Burns & McDonnell project scope did not include evaluating the wind resource of the project site, nor did it include an evaluation of the array design of the wind project. Specific design/engineering aspects pertinent to the wind resource and production capabilities of the wind farm were not included. The focus of the project was solely on assessing the life expectancy of the assets being deployed in the wind farm.

With the turbine types deployed by Horizon Wind Energy and Burns & McDonnell’s understanding of the other wind farm assets, Burns & McDonnell estimated that the wind farm project would have a service life of 30 years or more.

  • 100 MW wind farm
  • Vestas V90 3-MW wind turbines
  • Evaluation of life expectancy