Endesa, partners to build wind blade recycling plant in Spain

LM Wind turbine blades. Source: LM Wind Power (www.lmwindpower.com).

January 31 (Renewables Now) - Spanish electric utility Endesa SA (BME:ELE) said on Monday that it has launched a project to build a facility for the recycling of wind turbine blades in a northern Spain town where it is currently dismantling its once 1.1-GW coal-fired power plant.

The utility teamed up with recycling companies PreZero Espana and Reciclalia Composite to invest EUR 8.5 million (USD 9.5m) in the facility and start construction in the municipality of Cubillos del Sil in 2023.

The future plant will recycle and reuse fiberglass, carbon fibers and other by-products from blades, a big headache for the wind energy industry which can efficiently recycle around 95% of the turbine components.

The recycling project is supported by wind turbine maker GE Renewable Energy and its blade manufacturing unit LM Wind Power. Under the agreement with the new consortium, LM Wind Power will supply around 50% of excess fiberglass that comes out of the blade manufacturing process at its two factories in Spain. GE Renewable Energy will offer its Spain-based customers the option to recycle their disused blades through the Cubillos del Sil facility, Endesa said.

The facility will also accept Endesa's disused blades from projects and composite waste from other industries, and supply recycled fiberglass for use in applications such as construction and ceramics making, the utility added.

The recycling plant is expected to start operations in 2024.

The whole initiative is part of Endesa’s Futur-e Plan, which the company established to support regions that relied for work on its decommissioned coal-fired power plants. The dismantling of the Compostilla power complex in Cubillos del Sil, which started in the summer of 2021, will give jobs to 130 people, while the recycling plant will create 30 direct jobs and indirect employment associated with logistics. Endesa also plans to develop 625 MW of renewable energy projects in the area.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.12)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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