What is it?

Repowering is the process of replacing an existing wind turbine, with a newer more efficient wind turbine on the same site. This will involve the dismantling of the existing wind turbine and the excavation and replacement or re-engineering of the existing turbine sub structure, in preparation for the replacement turbine.


The Why?

Many businesses and farmers in Northern Ireland, under the Northern Ireland Renewables Obligation scheme, took the decision to install second hand refurbished wind turbines. Now that some projects are several years into the scheme and due to the age of some refurbished wind turbines in these projects, project owners are now starting to see the great benefits of repowering to a newer more efficient wind turbine.


The Benefits

Quite simply, repowering is an opportunity to make your wind turbine site more efficient.

It reduces the risk of O+M issues with ageing turbines and offers better access to spare parts.

It will help improve turbine performance and increase returns.

Potential to improve the quality and reliability of exported power.

Give your insurers more peace of mind and thus reduce insurance costs.


The Regulations

  • Planning permission must be sought for the replacement turbine.
  • If a land lease exists, does it allow repowering or does the lease have to be re-negotiated.
  • Ofgem and NIE Networks have to be notified of any change to the generation site and all required processes adhered to.
  • Any turbine owner thinking about repowering should also seek legal advice early in the repowering process.
  • It is the responsibility of the renewable generating station operator to ensure that their project remains compliant with the NIRO legislation. Failure to do so could lead to the suspension or revoking of ROCs and NIRO accreditation.

The Next Step

Farm Energy NI can provide a full repowering project feasibility study, including Ofgem guidance and support, planning support and economic appraisal to members. To find out more on how to become a member and discuss your repowering project contact us on 028 79 30060 or

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