GE Renewable partners with neowa, LafargeHolcim on recycling wind turbines

GE turbines. Image by: GE Renewable Energy.

June 11 (Renewables Now) - GE Renewable Energy on Thursday announced partnerships with German material recycling company neowa GmbH and Swiss building materials giant LafargeHolcim Ltd (SWX:LHN) to improve wind turbine circularity.

The renewables arm of General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) and neowa signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a multi-year agreement to dismantle decommissioned onshore wind turbines in Germany.

Neowa will provide deinstallation services, including dismantling and removing decommissioned turbines from the turbine pad, as well as recycling various components. It will recycle up to 90% of the mass of the turbine. Neowa will use its proprietary process and tools to turn wind turbine blades into pellets to be used as a feedstock in cement production. The resulting cement can then be used to build cement foundations and towers for new turbines.

The companies will look into expanding neowa’s blade recycling technology into other European countries.

At the same time, GE and LafargeHolcim have signed an MoU to explore circular economy solutions to use materials from decommissioned wind turbines. The companies are looking at new ways of recycling wind blades, including as a construction material for new wind farms.

This builds on work of LafargeHolcim’s Geocycle brand to recover energy from GE’s decommissioned blades. Geocycle now offers co-processing solutions for wind blades in Germany and will consider extending this service to other parts of Europe, according to the announcement.

The announcements come as the European Commission has adopted a new Circular Economy Action Plan, one of the pillars of the European Green Deal. GE Renewable Energy said that almost 10 GW of turbines in Europe are set to be repowered or decommissioned by 2025.

GE last year signed a similar multi-year agreement with Veolia North America to recycle blades in the US.

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Browse all articles from Plamena Tisheva

Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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