World’s First Wind Turbine with Recyclable Blades Starts Spinning Offshore Germany

The first Siemens Gamesa wind turbine equipped with the company’s RecyclableBlades has generated first power at the Kaskasi offshore wind farm in Germany.

This marks the first commercial installation of Siemens Gamesa’s recyclable wind turbine technology and the first time a wind turbine with recyclable blades is installed worldwide, according to the wind turbine manufacturer and RWE, the developer of the Kaskasi project.

The 342 MW offshore wind farm, which now has nine out of the total of 38 turbines installed, will feature a number of units equipped with the B81 RecyclableBlades, each blade with a length of 81 metres for the SG 8.0-167 DD Flex offshore wind turbines at Kaskasi.

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

The blades are made up of a combination of materials embedded in resin to form a strong, stiff structure, according to Siemens Gamesa, which says its 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 like suitcases or flat-screen casings without the need to call on more raw resources, the company said.

The RecyclableBlade technology was developed in Aalborg, Denmark, the blades for the Kaskasi project were manufactured in Hull, UK, and the nacelles were produced in and installed from Cuxhaven, Germany.

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“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, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit. “This milestone marks a significant contribution to Siemens Gamesa’s target of having fully recyclable turbines by 2040”.

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Photo: RWE