Veolia processing GE wind blades for cement production

2.75-120 wind turbine; Source: GE Renewable Energy

December 8 (Renewables Now) - GE Renewable Energy will be recycling the majority of turbine blades replaced during onshore wind farm upgrades and repowerings under a new contract with the North American unit of France’s Veolia Environnement SA (EPA:VIE).

The renewables arm of General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) announced today what it says is the first such agreement in the US wind industry. The multi-year deal calls for Veolia North America (VNA) to recycle the provided blades for use as a raw material for cement. It will shred the blades at its processing facility in Missouri.

“By adding wind turbine blades — which are primarily made of fiberglass — to replace raw materials for cement manufacturing, we are reducing the amount of coal, sand and minerals that are needed to produce the cement, ultimately resulting in greener cement that can be used for a variety of products,” said Bob Cappadona, COO for VNA’s Environmental Solutions and Services division.

GE says that, on average, almost 90% of the blade material, by weight, will be reused as a repurposed engineered material for cement production.

Last summer, VNA concluded a successful trial using a GE blade and now has over 100 processed units, according to Cappadona.

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