First turbine spins at Kaskasi - and its blades are recyclable

The first of Siemens Gamesa's RecyclableBlades is spinning in German waters at RWE's Kaskasi offshore wind farm. The project marks the first commercial installation of recyclable wind turbine technology.
The blades for the turbine are made out of a combination of materials embedded in resin. Blades have long been an issue in recycling wind turbines, proving more challenging than other components to recycle, on account of the resin, which goes with glass and carbon fibre to create them. Dissolving the resin requires special processes and high temperatures, reducing material properties and adding costs and energy usage.

The new model, however, uses a different type of resin, which dissolves in a mildly acidic, low-temperature solution, allowing it to be separated from other blade components, such as fibreglass, carbon fibre, plastic, wood, and metal. This allows materials to go into the circular economy and be used for new products.

We are proving that as the leaders of the offshore revolution," said Marc Becker, CEO of the Siemens Gamesa Offshore Business Unit. "We are committed to making disruptive technology innovation commercially viable with the pace that the climate emergency demands. 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.”  

The Kaskasi offshore wind farm is located 35 km nortth of Heligoland, in the German North Sea. Once built, it will have a capacity of 342 MW, coming from 30x SG 8.0-167 DD turbines. Several of these will be equipped with Siemens Gamesa's 81-metre-long B81 RecyclableBlades.

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO Wind Offshore, RWE Renewables, commented: “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 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. 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.” 

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.