Recommended Practices for Onshore Wind Turbine Foundation Maintenance

A graphic with the words "Industry Standards" in bold text hovering in the sky and in the background you can see solar panels, a wind turbine, an energy storage facility, and a transmission tower

Renewable energy operators typically employ maintenance crews, remote operations, and corporate support staff to maintain and manage wind energy sites. As of 2023, the operating wind energy fleet in the United States consisted of over 71,000 wind turbines with 1,900 turbines brought online in 2023 alone. While each operating company has different performance targets, energy-based availability is a common metric with targets ranging from 96% to 99% turbine energy availability depending on turbine technology. Virtually all industrial scale wind plants are operated remotely from a remote operations center. On-site maintenance crews can operate the equipment but are primarily tasked with equipment maintenance and repair.

Commonly referenced foundation design standards including ASCE/AWEA RP2011, IEC 61400-6:2020 and DNV-ST-0126 all recommend some level of foundation maintenance or monitoring but do not provide detailed guidance.

This Recommended Practices provides detailed recommendations for the maintenance of wind turbine foundations to address the most common maintenance needs including inspections, preventative maintenance, and typical reports. It discusses operating conditions, typical foundation designs, common failure modes, recommended maintenance and repair methods, and design considerations. These recommendations apply to several foundation types with a peripheral arrangement of pretensioned anchor bolts holding the tower to the foundation, as most turbine foundations in North America are this type.

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