Denmark's largest offshore wind farm will feature recyclable wind turbine blades

June 27, 2023

Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm to date will feature recyclable wind turbine blades made by Siemens Gamesa.

In 2022, renewable energy giant RWE became the first commercial, large-scale offshore developer to install Siemens Gamesa’s recyclable wind turbine blade technology, RecyclableBlade, at its Kaskasi offshore wind farm in Germany. (The blades pictured above are at Kaskasi.) RecyclableBlades will also be installed on 44 out of 100 turbines at the Sofia wind farm, which RWE is building off the UK’s northeast coast.

And now, RWE has chosen RecyclableBlade for Thor – Denmark’s largest offshore wind farm to date. Forty out of 72 SG 14-236 DD turbines will be equipped with Siemens Gamesa’s “worldwide-first” recyclable blades.

Siemens Gamesa’s RecyclableBlade technology enables the full reclamation of the wind turbine blade’s components at end-of-life: resin, fiberglass, and wood, among others, are separated using a mild acid solution.  

(I asked RWE’s spokesperson why it’s not using only recyclable turbine blades on Sofia and Thor, and she said it’s due to supply chain and cost. But she stressed that the percentage of recyclable blades are rising with every project.)

RWE will build Thor in the Danish North Sea, around 22 kilometers (13.6 miles) from the west coast of Jutland. The 1,000 megawatt (MW) Thor will be able to produce enough clean electricity to supply more than 1 million Danish households – that’s 1 in 3 households in Denmark. It’s expected to come online no later than the end of 2027.

Thor will also be the world’s first wind farm to install Siemens Gamesa’s carbon dioxide-reduced steel towers. The GreenerTower will reduce CO2 of at least 63% in the tower steel plates compared to conventional steel.

In the US, RWE is a fast-growing new offshore wind player, acquiring 4 GW of seabed capacity during the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s 2022 New York Bight and California seabed lease auctions.

Sam Eaton, CEO of RWE Offshore Wind Holdings, said in a statement sent to Electrek about using recyclable blades in its US projects:

RWE has demonstrated a clear commitment to lead on circularity across the offshore wind sector by using recyclable blades at now three offshore wind projects.

The adoption of recyclable wind turbine blades is an integral part of achieving RWE’s net-zero targets and presents a great opportunity to make sustainability inherent to the burgeoning US offshore wind industry.

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Denmark's largest offshore wind farm will feature recyclable wind turbine blades