Offshore wind power plant

Vattenfall offshore wind farm will use recyclable wind turbine blades

The Hollandse Kust Zuid offshore wind farm in the Netherlands will use a new type of wind turbine blades that can be recycled. The blades are made with a new type of resin which makes it easier to reclaim the different blade components.

Last year, Vattenfall set the target to recycle all wind turbine blades by 2030. Several initiatives have started in order to reach the target. Now Vattenfall has decided to introduce a new type of blade from Siemens Gamesa, called Recycableblades in Hollandse Kust Zuid.

“The wind industry continues to grow and so will the number of blades that will reach end of life. Vattenfall is committed to promoting a circular economy and reducing environmental impact throughout the product's life cycle. Using recyclable turbine blades is a logical next step to reach those ambitions," says Eva Philipp, head of Vattenfall’s Environment and Sustainability Unit. 

A new type of resin key to recycling

While most parts of a wind turbine can be recycled after their working life, blades have up until now been a challenge. The problem lies in the resin, which is used in combination with glass and carbon fiber for the structure of the blades. It typically takes high temperatures, high pressure, special processes, or a combination of these to dissolve the resin. This drives up the energy use and thereby cost; it also reduces the material properties in the blade as they deteriorate due to the exposure to these extreme dissolving conditions.

Siemens Gamesa’s RecyclableBlades use a resin type that dissolves in a low-temperature, mildly acidic solution. This separates the resin from the other components in the blade: fiberglass, carbon fiber, plastic, wood, and metal without significantly impacting their properties. This allows the components to be recycled into new products afterwards.

Recyclable blades planned for more wind farms

Siemens Gamesa’s Recycableblades were launched in 2021 but the availability is still limited. Hollandse Kust Zuid will be the first Vattenfall project to employ the blades in some of the 140 turbines in the wind farm.

In addition, Vattenfall has secured availability of the blades for the next project, Hollandse Kust West. If Vattenfall is awarded the site, a number of turbines will be able to use the Siemens Gamesa RecyclableBlades. 

Facts about Hollandse Kust Zuid

  • Jointly owned by Vattenfall, BASF and Allianz.
  • Total capacity 1,500 MW.
  • The wind farm consists of 140 11 MW turbines, the largest ever to be installed at scale.
  • Rotor diameter: 200 meters.
  • The world's first offshore wind farm to be built without subsidy.
  • Commissioned in 2023.

See also

An offshore wind farm

Vattenfall and Preem to investigate large scale decarbonization using offshore wind and hydrogen

Vattenfall and Preem will now enter into a feasibility phase to assess the possibility of accelerating the development of a value chain connecting offshore wind and hydrogen with the refinin...

Read the full article
Helene Biström, head of business area wind and Adiam Iyassuc, host

Vattenfall Studio: Surge in Europe’s demand for wind

In the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine, wind power expansion is not just about the climate, but also to secure Europe’s energy supply. Helene Biström, Head of Vattenfall’s Wind operations ex...

Read the full article
Pen  y Cymoedd onshore windfarm

Webinar: the Environmental Impact of Wind Power

Helene Biström, Senior Vice President, Vattenfall Business Area Wind notes: “Wind power is important to reach our climate targets in Europe”.

Read the full article