These recyclable wind blades will be used in Europe’s largest offshore wind farm project
(ETX Daily Up) – Part of the future wind farm in Sofia, off the coast of England, will soon be powered by 100% recyclable wind turbines. At the end of the activity, all their components can thus be reused for other projects.
The issue of wind turbine recycling is at the heart of the development of wind farms that are springing up across Europe. It is in this context that Siemens Gamesa announces that it will supply 132 recyclable blades, the equivalent of 44 wind turbines, as part of the construction of the Sofia offshore wind farm. Situated on a large sandbank 195 km off the north-east coast of England, Sofia will have a total of approximately one hundred 14 MW wind turbines, for a total generating capacity estimated at 1.4 GW. Its commissioning is scheduled for 2025.
This technology, called RecyclableBlades, takes the form of fully recyclable blades that are 108m long. Whether it will be the largest park to use these RecyclableBlades, knowing that the very first were delivered in 2022, at the Kaskasi offshore wind farm in the German North Sea. At the time the blades were “only” 81 m long, against the over 100 m of those to be installed as part of the Sofia project.
Siemens Gamesa promises that at the end of its operation it will be possible to recover all the components of the blade, whether they are fibreglass, wood or even resin, all separated when using a mild acid solution. The manufacturer is committed to producing only 100% recyclable wind turbines by 2040.
With the development of wind farms comes the problem of recycling these huge machines, especially for some composite materials that are difficult to recycle. Recently, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas, for example, presented its recycling solution despite the presence of epoxy resin, whose chemical properties usually make it a very complex substance to break down into reusable components. The idea here is that you can recycle old blades that are currently in landfills.
All these initiatives are essential to set up a true circular production method. Because, in the future, thousands of wind turbines will have to be decommissioned.