Siemens Gamesa has announced that its recyclable wind turbine blades are ready for commercial use offshore.
The technology allows for separation of the blade materials at the end of its lifetime, enabling recycling into new applications.
Andreas Nauen, CEO of Siemens Gamesa, said: “The time to tackle climate emergency is now, and we need to do it in a holistic way.
“In pioneering wind circularity – where elements contribute to a circular economy of the wind industry – we have reached a major milestone in a society that puts care for the environment at its heart.”
Many wind turbine components, such as the tower and nacelle components have established recycling practices, however, the composite materials used in wind turbine blades have been more challenging to recycle, according to Siemens Gamesa.
The Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlade now enables recycling at the end of its lifecycle, and sets the path to a future where the full recyclability of projects will be a market requirement.
The first six 81-meter long RecyclableBlades have been produced at the Siemens Gamesa blade factory in Aalborg, Denmark.
Siemens Gamesa wind turbine blades are made from a combination of materials cast together with resin to form a strong and flexible lightweight structure.
The chemical structure of this new resin type makes it possible to efficiently separate the resin from the other components at end of the blade’s working life.
This mild process protects the properties of the materials in the blade, in contrast to other existing ways of recycling conventional wind turbine blades, allowing the materials to be reused in new applications after separation.
The blades will first be deployed in partnership with RWE in Germany at the Kaskasi offshore wind power plant.
Current plans are for the project to be producing energy from 2022 onwards.
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Wind Offshore, RWE Renewables: “We are pleased that our offshore wind farm Kaskasi is able to provide a fantastic facility for testing innovations; here we are preparing to test special steel collars and to use an improved installation method for foundations.
“Now, Kaskasi installs the world’s first recyclable wind turbine blade manufactured by Siemens Gamesa. This is a significant step in advancing the sustainability of wind turbines to the next level”.
Future deployments will see RecyclableBlades used in projects overseen by EDF Renewables and wpd.