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The world’s first wind turbine with recyclable blades is now operational

Siemens Gamesa is celebrating the spinning of its first recyclable blades on a wind turbine at the Kaskasi offshore wind farm in Germany. It is the world’s first commercial deployment of recyclable wind turbine technology.

Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit says, “We are proving that as the leaders of the offshore revolution, we are committed to making disruptive technology innovation commercially viable with the pace that the climate emergency demands. We’ve brought the Siemens Gamesa recyclable blade 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 recyclable blades available for our customers, we can create a virtuous circular economy.” 

Wind turbine blades are constructed from a variety of components embedded in resin to create a robust, stiff construction. Using Siemens Gamesa’s market-leading recyclable blades technology, the blade’s components can be fully reclaimed at the end of the product’s lifespan. A moderate acid solution is used to separate the resin, fiberglass, and wood, among other things. The materials can subsequently be recycled into the circular economy, creating new items such as bags or flat-screen shells without the need for additional raw materials.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Wind Offshore, RWE Renewables: “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. The first turbine equipped with Siemens Gamesa’s recyclable blades 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. We at RWE want to help make this happen and the commissioning of the first turbine of our Kaskasi offshore wind farm is a clear sign of this intent.” 

A portion of RWE’s Kaskasi offshore wind farm turbines will be outfitted with handcrafted Siemens Gamesa B81 Recyclable Blades, each measuring 81 meters in length. The project is 35 kilometers north of Heligoland in the German North Sea. It will be made up of 38 SG 8.0-167 DD wind turbines and will produce 342 MW of clean, renewable electricity for up to 400,000 German households. This is similar to the city of Frankfurt am Main.

“The first power being generated from the first turbine using recyclable blades also underscores the great value creation provided by Siemens Gamesa in several countries. The recyclable blades technology was developed in Aalborg, Denmark, the blades were manufactured in Hull, UK, and the nacelles were produced in and installed from Cuxhaven, Germany. Recyclable blades 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,” Becker continues. 

The recyclable blades 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 SG 14-236 DD turbines

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