An offshore wind farm in the Netherlands was the first to discover that the concrete used to attach the turbines to their steel foundations was eroding. If unattended the towers could collapse.
In Britain, the same erosion has been confirmed. Investigations are underway to determine how extensive the problem is. Britain has some 336 offshore wind turbines and it is estimated that it will require some £50million to fix if all the offshore units are involved.
Off-shore wind turbines are at a major disadvantage as is, without more new and costly expenses being added. According to the US Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) the levelized cost of onshore and offshore wind turbines coming on-line in 2017 are $97/mWh and $331/mWh respectively. By comparison, the EIA’s levelized cost for a natural gas advanced combined cycle unit coming on-line in 2017 is $66/mWh. And with the price of natural gas dropping in the US, the natural gas unit will be even more favorable price-wise.