Recyclable wind turbine blades now spin in the circular economyS. Himmelstein | September 13, 2022
The first recyclable blades engineered by Siemens Gamesa are spinning on a wind turbine at the Kaskasi offshore wind farm in Germany. This first commercial installation of recyclable wind turbine technology marks the initial step in the company’s plans to make all of its wind turbine blades fully recyclable by 2030 and all of its wind turbines fully recyclable by 2040.
The RecyclableBlades are fabricated with a new type of resin easily separated from the other components at the end of a blade’s working life, removing a major obstacle encountered in previous efforts to achieve full recyclability. After decommissioning, the blade will be immersed in a mild acidic solution heated with renewable energy sources to separate the resin from the fiberglass, plastic, wood and metals.
The process will allow the materials to be recycled for new purposes, including in the automotive industry or in consumer goods. The same molds currently used to manufacture its wind turbine blades for offshore installations can still be used, as the dimensions of the RecyclableBlades and most of the materials remain unchanged.
The 342 MW Kaskasi offshore wind farm, owned and operated by RWE in the German North Sea, features 38 SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbines. Many of these units are equipped with 81 m-long B81 RecyclableBlades.