In September 2021, Siemens Gamesa launched RecyclableBlade, the world’s first wind turbine blade that can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle. And the now, the company has announced the first-ever commercial installation of its fully recyclable offshore wind turbine blades.
The first recyclable blades are spinning on a wind turbine at RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind power project in Germany, marking a turning point in the long-term sustainability of offshore wind power.
RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind power project is located 35 km north of the island of Heligoland in the German North Sea. The project will include 38 Siemens Gamesa 8.0-167 DD wind turbines, generating 342 MW of clean, renewable energy for up to 400,000 German households. A number of turbines of the wind farm will be equipped with handcrafted B81 RecyclableBlades, each with a length of 81 meters.
Siemens Gamesa’s recyclable wind turbine blades are made up of a combination of materials embedded in resin to form a strong, stiff structure. Utilizing 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 material 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 RecyclableBlade technology is also available for the 108-meter long B108 blades used on the SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbine and the massive 115-meter long B115 blades on SG 14-236 DD turbines.
The RecyclableBlade technology was developed at the company’s Aalborg facility in Denmark, and the blades were manufactured in Hull in the UK. The nacelles were produced and installed in Cuxhaven, Germany. Siemens Gamesa has a plan to make all of its wind turbine blades fully recyclable by 2040.