Siemens Gamesa celebrated the delivery of green energy from the world’s first turbine equipped with its RecyclableBlades. The first commercial installation of recyclable wind turbine technology recently took place at RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind power project in Germany. It marks a turning point in the long-term sustainability of offshore wind power.
“We are proving that we are committed to making disruptive technology innovation commercially viable with the pace that the climate emergency demands,” said Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit. “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. This is impressive and underlines the pace at which we all need to move to provide enough generating capacity to combat the global climate emergency. 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.”
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 like 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, CEO of wind offshore at RWE Renewables. “The first turbine equipped with Siemens Gamesa’s RecyclableBlades is generating electricity. The expansion of renewable energies must be driven forward decisively. Faster offshore expansion is particularly important to simultaneously achieve climate targets and to create more energy sovereignty.”
A number of turbines of RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind farm will be equipped with handcrafted Siemens Gamesa B81 RecyclableBlades, each with a length of 266 ft. (81 m). The project is located 22 miles (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. Siemens Gamesa said this level of generation is comparable to a city like Frankfurt.
“The first power being generated from the first turbine using RecyclableBlades also underscores the great value creation provided by Siemens Gamesa in several countries,” said Becker. “The RecyclableBlade technology was developed in Aalborg, Denmark, the blades were manufactured in Hull, United Kingdom, 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.”