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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has introduced its Land-based Balance of System Systems Engineering (LandBOSSE) tool. This open-source model will provide researchers, analysts, wind power developers, government agencies, and the public with a flexible tool that can be used to estimate the balance-of-system (BOS) costs associated with onsite wind power plant construction at land-based wind plants.
BOS costs—the costs to perform site preparation, construct foundations, install electrical infrastructure, and construct the tower—currently account for approximately 30% of the capital expenditures needed to install a land-based wind plant. And the relative importance of BOS costs is expected to increase as the cost of wind turbine hardware decreases. The model is based on a bottom-up, process-based assessment of inputs and outputs associated with each BOS operation and, where needed, is supplemented by top-down estimates of costs from industry. The current version of LandBOSSE features process-based capabilities for four modules: foundations, site preparation, erection, and collection system. This modular approach allows for future expansion that could enable the exploration of a variety of plant sizes, locations, and site-specific parameters, along with different types of tower technologies, turbines, and foundation designs.
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