Investing in a wind power plant: How to evaluate the economic benefits for your company

A wind power plant is a system that uses wind energy to produce electricity and is an excellent alternative investment capable of guaranteeing easily predictable, stable and constant cash flows over time, even over a long period.

To assess the economic return of a wind power plant, several factors must be considered, including:

  • The amount of electricity produced by the plant is always dependent on the wind speed available at the site location and the wind turbine installed.
  • The costs of purchasing and installing (called Capex) and maintaining and operating (called Opex) of the plant: the lower these costs are, the greater the economic return. Our full O&M rental model provides for a very low initial investment and then a fixed all-inclusive monthly fee over time.
  • The price of electricity sold and/or the incentive tariff received per kWh. This component, multiplied by the annual electricity produced, represents the plant’s annual revenue.

In Italy there are several incentive tariffs that differ in duration, amount and installed kw. The three main guaranteed direct-access tariffs for newly constructed wind power plants that have been granted in the past through a special agreement with the Gestore dei Servizi Energetici (the GSE) through the following, ordered according to the highest frequency:

  • Euro 268 per MWh, or Euro 0,268 per kWh produced for plants with a maximum power output of 60 KW and a duration of the incentive equal to twenty years. This all-inclusive tariff is not indexed to inflation;
  • Euro 190 per MWh, or Euro 0,19 for each KWh produced by a plant with a maximum capacity of 60 KW and with a duration of the incentive equal to twenty years. This all-inclusive tariff, like the previous one, is not indexed to inflation;
  • Euro 300 MWh, or Euro 0,300 for each KWh produced by plants with a maximum capacity of 200 KW and a duration of the incentive equal to fifteen years. This all-inclusive tariff is also not indexed to inflation.
  • The life of a plant. Our plants are designed and built to produce energy for 25 years!
  • The end-of-life value of a wind power plant. Our Compact 125 plants are entirely made in Italy, made and designed to last, at the end of their cycle they can be regenerated to give new life to the site or to produce energy elsewhere. Always a positive value for the investment and the environment!

Taking this into account, one of the main methods for calculating the worthiness of an investment in a wind power plant is the Payback method.

The Payback Period method (known in Italy as the payback period or financial break-even) allows the calculation of the time required to recover the investments made through the revenues obtained from the sale of the electricity produced by the plant net of operating costs.

With Optiturb turbines, this means calculating the years needed to recoup the initial investment (the maximum rental fee) through the net cash flows generated by the production of electricity (equal to GSE revenues – annual O&M rental fee – possible land rent and miscellaneous).

Generalising for a plant with its own land we will have:

Payback Period in years = Full O&M rental fee / (Annual revenues – Annual full O&M rental fee)

One is pleasantly surprised by how only a few years are needed to fully recoup the initial investment and start earning money every month from the wind power plant.

Now all that remains is what a full O&M lease is and why it comes in useful for all investors who want to improve performance by maximising the returns from their wind power plants.

A full operation and maintenance (O&M) rental agreement for a wind power plant is an agreement whereby one company, OPTITURB, makes a wind power plant available for the use by another company, the customer, in exchange for an initial maxi-fee to cover installation costs and a monthly periodic fee. The contract includes the provision of all operation, maintenance and spare parts warranty services necessary for the operation of the plant for its entire lifetime, or up to twenty years.

In addition to this, Optiturb can take care of all the necessary parts of the realisation of a wind power plant, from the identification of the installation area to the complete authorisation, design and realisation of the plant and ancillary works. Added to this are the advantages of being able to take out a full risk insurance policy for the wind power plant, covering all risks that may occur to a wind power plant during its lifetime and protecting the investor from direct damage (e.g. an earthquake, lightning or mechanical failure) and especially from indirect damage, i.e. loss of production during the plant’s restoration periods. All Optiturb plants are always insured with leading insurance companies against all major risks.

Full O&M leasing can be a cost-effective option for companies that want to reap the benefits of wind energy without having to bear the high costs of purchasing, installing and operating the plant. Since Optiturb manages the plant and bears the maintenance costs, the lessee can concentrate on its core business without having to worry about operating the plant. In addition, the annual rent is fully tax deductible. What are you waiting for. Ask for more information or submit your wind power plant site to us to define together which is the right choice. You can send us an e-mail to or fill in the form with your data and we will contact you back.