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A V90-3.0MW offshore wind turbine from Vestas has to produce electricity for just 6.8 months before it has produced as much energy as used throughout its design lifetime. In other words, this turbine model earns its own worth more than 35 times during its design lifetime. Furthermore, compared to the V80-2.0MW offshore wind turbine, the 6.8 months is an improvement of approximately 2.2 months. Also, if installed on a good site, the V90-3.0MW wind turbine will generate approximately 280,000MWh in 20 years. These are two of the results from a life cycle assessment (LCA) that Vestas completed of a V90-3.0MW wind turbine in 2004.
A life cycle assessment is both a mapping and an evaluation of the potential impact of the wind turbine on the external environment throughout its lifetime. The life cycle assessment for the V90-3.0MW wind turbine is divided into four phases:
o        the production phase, which covers the period from obtaining the raw materials to the completion of the wind turbine
o        the transport of the wind turbine components and erection of the wind turbine
o        operation and maintenance throughout the 20-year design lifetime of the wind turbine
o        disposal of the wind turbine.
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