Estimation of project cost

A first prediction of the costs of project should be performed already in the initial phase of the project development. This prediction should be done in order to assess whether the project will be an economic success. If this initial assessment is negative, planning should be halted in order to avoid incurring any further costs.

The composition of the investment costs depends on type of the project, but also varies slightly for each project type.

EXAMPLE: In wind plant project, the wind turbine itself has the biggest share of the investment costs. Mostly, this share includes the costs for transport and on-site erection because these services are often offered as a bundle by the wind turbine manufacturer.

All analyses show that with growing rated power, the specific investment costs per kW installed capacity decrease.

In addition to the production costs, the total wind turbine investment costs include share the design and development costs, the profit and further costs attributable to warranty, transport and erection.

The grid connection costs should be considered as important investment cost factor. These vary strongly according to local conditions, i.e. the distance to the next grid-connection point, and the requirements of the local grid operator as well.

The cost of civil works - The costs incurred by the access lands and roads again vary strongly depending on the local site conditions and the optimum wind farm layout. The bearing capacity of the access lanes, and therefore the specific costs in € per meter, are determined primarily by the transport weight of the cranes. They also depend on the wind turbine size.

It must be differentiated between the access requirements which exist during erection and those emerging from wind farm operation. Nevertheless, access for cranes should be ensured in case larger repairs need to be carried out at a later stage.

The costs of the foundation depend on the hub height of the wind turbine and on geotechnical investigation report for the site. If the ground is not strong enough, additional measures are required (e.g. a piled foundation) which might increase the costs compared to those of a standard flat foundation.

At the end in the total cost it shuold be estimated the costs for planning, permission and indemnification measures and so-called „soft costs“ for the organisation of the operating company, as well as the financing costs.

At the second stage it should be done financial plan