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In a 2018 CleanTechnica article, Wind Energy Prices Continue To Fall Due To Technology Advancements & Cost Reductions, they claim

The new report, the Department of Energy’s (DoE) 2017 Wind Technologies Market Report, found that newly built wind projects across the United States provided energy at an average of around 2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), thanks a combination of technology advancements and cost reductions.

Later in the same article, they seem to contradict this by saying it has dropped 2 cents per kWh from 7 cents, suggesting it is now around 5 cents per kWh - this might be a typo:

These lower construction costs have enabled aggressive wind power pricing, and after topping out at 7 cents per kWh in 2009, the average levelized long-term price for wind power has dropped around 2 cents per kWh.

They don't detail their methodology. I am particularly interested if road infrastructure is included in this figure.

Does wind energy cost around 2 cents per kwh?

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    Why pick on road infrastructure costs in particular? Why would you consider roads that already exist to be part of the costs for a wind turbine project? – Paul Johnson Oct 2 at 7:20
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    To follow up on Paul's comment: other forms of energy generation need roads too. Why the question? – Jan Doggen Oct 2 at 7:38
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    The wind farms in East Anglia (UK) usually have no better access than a farm track, parts of which already existed. The offshore wind farms don't need additional roads. – Weather Vane Oct 2 at 10:10
  • As no one is claiming that it does include the cost of public roads, and no serious commentator has suggested that it should, that's really not relevant. – EnergyNumbers Oct 2 at 14:32
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    Consider that one number may be the incremental cost, while the other is the averaged cost, taking into account the cost of facilities already in production. – Daniel R Hicks Oct 14 at 0:34
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I believe we should start by looking at Figures 53 and 54 from the relevant documents, the 2018 Wind Technologies Market Report, which detail wind power purchase agreement (PPA) prices as they change through time:

Figures 53 and 54, showing the evolution of PPA prices over time

In $2018, it seems that the PPA prices hovered around $15-20 per megawatt-hour, or about 2 cents per kilowatt-hour, which matches the claim.

PPAs are essentially just long-term agreements between the plant producing energy and the entity purchasing it - the latter of which is often state or local government. These PPA prices do take into account factors like turbine prices and "installed project costs"(2018 Wind Technologies Market Report, page 58):

Earlier sections documented trends in capacity factors, wind turbine prices, installed project costs, O&M costs, and project financing—all of which are determinants of the wind power purchase agreement (PPA) prices presented in this chapter. In general, higher-cost and/or lower-capacity-factor projects will require higher PPA prices, while lower-cost and/or higher-capacity-factor projects can have lower PPA prices.

PPA prices vary from plant to plant, of course, as the report notes, and each seller will likely put different factors into their calculations, so I would assume it's possible for one plant to include the startup costs of any construction changes to roads required to let large turbine parts or heavy equipment through, for example. However, if the roads are preexisting, it seems like they would not affect the cost of the project, research and development, maintenance, etc., and therefore would not be included in PPA prices.

There is also a second - incompatible - claim in the article:

These lower construction costs have enabled aggressive wind power pricing, and after topping out at 7 cents per kWh in 2009, the average levelized long-term price for wind power has dropped around 2 cents per kWh.

The data shows that across the United States, PPA prices did indeed hit a maximum of a bit over 7 cents per kilowatt-hour in 2009, but the drop over the past ten years has been approximately 5 cents - not 2. I agree with Oddthinking that this may be a typo on the part of CleanTechnica, and I can find no evidence to indicate otherwise.

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    @user33800 I tried to address that in my last paragraph - it seems unlikely that they're included, but we would have to look at individual PPAs to be sure one way or the other, and it does seem like it will vary on a project-by-project basis. – HDE 226868 Oct 2 at 4:06
  • Ok so basically no – user46786 Oct 2 at 4:06
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    The evidence you've provided is much stronger than the question. The question is, has it dropped by two cents a kWh to five cents. You've shown that it has, in some cases, dropped to two cents. – EnergyNumbers Oct 2 at 14:31
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    @EnergyNumbers It looks like Oddthinking's edit changed the claim - earlier in the article, there is indeed the claim I was responding to ("newly built wind projects across the United States provided energy at an average of around 2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh)") and which had originally been the one to OP was asking about. I'm not sure if a rollback is needed for the question here. . . – HDE 226868 Oct 2 at 14:33
  • This doesn't seem to answer the question - and it doesn't say anything at all about the claim the OP discusses. It might be a better as a comment on my answer, but it doesn't address the question posed. Perhaps you could edit your answer, to improve it - maybe by adding other sources besides this article? – user46786 Oct 4 at 1:04

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