Community Wind Handbook/Understand Operations Maintenance

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Community Wind Handbook

Understand Operations & Maintenance

Proper O&M of a large community wind project can help ensure an extended life for the project. Although owners can conduct O&M for their projects, they must be trained by qualified technicians. This type of training is usually provided through vocational schools, manufacturers, or contractors.[1]

The operation and maintenance of a large community wind project requires a variety of tasks including blade inspection. Photo by Dennis Schroeder, NREL 27202.

Some turbine vendors provide O&M services during the initial 2- to 5-year warranty period. Once the warranty has expired, or if one is not offered, it is necessary to hire an O&M team to conduct routine scheduled O&M tasks.[2] Turbine vendors, manufacturers, and third-party businesses offer turbine O&M services, which can range from $20,000 to $50,000 per year per turbine.[3]

If your large community wind project is located near a commercial project that utilizes the same type of turbine model, it may be possible to hire the commercial project’s O&M team rather than hiring a team dedicated to your project.[4]

An important part of O&M is ongoing turbine monitoring. Suggested staffing numbers for a large community wind project will depend on the size of the facility, but it has been suggested that one technician be hired for every six to eight turbines installed.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "American Public Power Association. Establishing an In-House Wind Maintenance Program: A Case Study of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power"
  2.  "University of Southern Maine. A Maine Guide for Developing Community Wind Projects"
  3.  "Windustry. Community Wind Toolbox, Chapter 8: Costs"
  4.  "Energy Trust of Oregon. Community Wind: An Oregon Guidebook"