First recyclable wind turbine blades installed in Germany

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Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlades leave Hull for the Kaskasi offshore development. (Courtesy: Siemens Gamesa)

Siemens Gamesa’s RecyclableBlades are generating electricity in the first commercial installation of fully recyclable wind turbine blades, at RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind power project in Germany.

Siemens Gamesa’s RecyclableBlades are generating electricity in the first commercial installation of fully recyclable wind turbine blades, at RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind power project in Germany.

“We are proving that as the leaders of the offshore revolution, we are committed to making disruptive technology innovation commercially viable with the pace that the climate emergency demands. We’ve brought the Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlade technology to market in only 10 months: from launch in September 2021 to installation at RWE’s Kaskasi project in July 2022,” said Marc Becker, Siemens Gamesa offshore business unit CEO.
“This milestone marks a significant contribution to Siemens Gamesa’s target of having fully recyclable turbines by 2040. With RecyclableBlade available for our customers, we can create a virtuous circular economy,” Becker said.

Wind turbine blades are made up of a combination of materials embedded in resin to form a strong, stiff structure. Utilizing Siemens Gamesa’s RecyclableBlade technology enables full reclaim of the blade’s components at the end of the product’s lifespan. Separating the resin, fiberglass, and wood, among others, is achieved through using a mild acid solution. The materials can then go into the circular economy, creating new products such as suitcases or flat-screen casings without the need to call on more raw resources.
“That we are testing in our offshore wind farm Kaskasi the world’s first recyclable wind turbine blades under operational conditions is a significant step in advancing the sustainability of wind turbines to the next level,” said Sven Utermöhlen, RWE Renewables’ CEO Wind Offshore.

A number of turbines at RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind farm will be equipped with handcrafted Siemens Gamesa B81 RecyclableBlades, each with a length of 81 meters. The project is located 35 km north of the island of Heligoland in the German North Sea. It will be comprised of 38 SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbines, generating 342 MW of clean, renewable energy for up to 400,000 German households.

“The first power being generated from the first turbine using RecyclableBlades also underscores the great value creation provided by Siemens Gamesa in several countries. The RecyclableBlade technology was developed in Aalborg, Denmark, the blades were manufactured in Hull, UK, and the nacelles were produced in and installed from Cuxhaven, Germany. RecyclableBlade technology will help reduce raw material extraction by creating the potential for secondary markets for the reclaimed material, with the job creation that this could provide as an additional benefit in local markets,” Becker said.

The RecyclableBlade technology is also available for the 108-meter long B108 blades used on the SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine and the 115-meter long B115 blades SG 14-222 DD turbines.

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