RWE to use recyclable blades at UK’s Sofia offshore wind farm

Renewables

United Kingdom – RWE has partnered with Siemens Gamesa to install recyclable blades on 44 of its 100 turbines at the Sofia offshore wind project, which is now under development off the coast of the North East of the UK.

At the 1.4 GW offshore wind farm, 132 individual recyclable blades will be placed. Given the existing market capacity for the new specialized resin utilized in the blades, this is the maximum that is feasible. According to the agreement, Siemens Gamesa’s Hull factory will build 50% of the turbine blades for Sofia in the UK.

The composite materials used in wind turbine blades have proven to be more difficult to recycle than other parts of a wind turbine, such as the tower and nacelle, which already have well-established recycling methods. They use a particular adhesive to tie all of their components together, which is essentially the reason of this difficulty.

New blades

Siemens Gamesa will use a novel resin type in its recyclable blades that has a chemical structure that is effectively separable from other substances. Because the materials’ characteristics are preserved, the method enables their reuse in fresh casting applications, such as in the automotive sector or in consumer items like bags and flatscreen shells.

When conventional turbine blades reach the end of their useful lives, new technologies are being developed to recycle them. These new blades, which were designed to be recyclable from the start, mark an important advancement in terms of maximizing sustainability and environmental advantages.

Sofia offshore wind farm

The Sofia offshore wind farm project is situated 195 kilometers (km) off the North East coast of the UK on Dogger Bank in the middle North Sea. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2026 after the start of offshore installation in 2023. The development will make use of the most recent SG 14-222 DD turbines, which have rotor diameters of 222 meters and turbine blade lengths of 108 meters.

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Wim Raaijen
I am a creative publisher, editor in chief, writer, vlogger and moderator with a journalistic and philosophic based view. Trying to re-invent the concept of publishing, based on platforms and partners, instead of separated media and advertisements. I am interested in industrial subjects like transition, sustainability, safety, energy efficiency, innovation and responsibility.