108-Metre Recyclable Blades to Spin on Sofia Wind Farm Offshore UK

RWE has selected Siemens Gamesa’s RecyclableBlade for 44 SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbines to be installed at the Sofia offshore wind power project off the east coast of the UK.

Siemens Gamesa/Illustration

In total, 132 individual recyclable blades will be installed at the 100-turbine offshore wind project. This is the maximum available given the current market capacity for the new specialist resin used in the blades, RWE said.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO RWE Offshore Wind, said: ”We are delighted to have secured this agreement with Siemens Gamesa. Sofia is our largest offshore wind farm to date and this world first is a significant step in taking the long-term sustainability of offshore wind farms to the next level. RWE believe this is the right direction for the future of our sector, which has sustainability at its core.”

In 2022, RWE became the first commercial, large-scale offshore developer to install Siemens Gamesa’s fully RecyclableBlade, with a number of blades being utilized in the Kaskasi offshore wind power project located 35 kilometres north of the island of Heligoland in the German North Sea.

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The Sofia project will utilize RecyclableBlades measuring 108 metres long, representing the first deployment of this variant. The Kaskasi project utilizes 81-metre-long RecyclableBlades on the selected SG 8.0-167 DD offshore wind turbines.

The blades will be manufactured at Siemens Gamesa’s Hull factory, which built the first RecyclableBlades for the Kaskasi offshore wind power project.

As part of the agreement, 50 per cent of Sofia’s turbine blades will be produced in the UK at Siemens Gamesa’s Hull factory.

Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlades leaving Hull for the Kaskasi offshore development. Source: Siemens Gamesa

”Our industry-leading RecyclableBlade technology is now delivering even greater circularity of resources. When we began working with RWE on the Kaskasi project, we knew that we had taken the first major steps toward delivering a decisive change to the wind sector. Having the opportunity to produce and install 132 RecyclableBlades for the Sofia project is a remarkable achievement. It fully demonstrates the joint focus between our companies to develop and deliver even greater levels of sustainability for renewable power generation globally,” said Marc Becker, CEO of Siemens Gamesa’s offshore business.

In its recyclable blades, Siemens Gamesa will use a new resin type, with a chemical structure that can be efficiently separated from other elements using a mild acid solution. The process protects the properties of the materials and so allows them to be reused in new casting applications, for example in the automotive industry, or in consumer goods like suitcases and flatscreen casings.

The Sofia offshore wind farm is located on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, 195 kilometres off the North East coast of the UK.

The wind farm will feature 100 SG 14-222 DD wind turbines scheduled to be fully commissioned in 2026.

With offshore installation expected to begin in 2023, Sofia will have a capacity of 1.4 GW, making it one of the largest single offshore wind farms in the world.

The project is owned and developed by RWE.


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