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Reblade & Thrive to Repurpose Wind Turbine Blades

Renewable energy investment company, Thrive Renewables PLC, has teamed up with Scottish start-up ReBlade, to repurpose the 22 year old blades from its 1.3MW wind turbine in Orkney.

wind turbine blade being loaded onto a lorry

Readers of the Orkney News will remember the story we published about the work being done at Queens University, Belfast to repurpose wind turbine blades into foot bridges with plans for other structures like street furniture.

Thrive’s Sigurd blades on Burgar Hill, have generated 88 GWh of clean electricity during their lifetime and travelled just over eight million miles. Now at end-of-life, the company is working with Scottish start up company ReBlade to turn the blades into furniture for councils, communities, and businesses across the country, which could include bus shelters, benches and other items.

Adrian Warman, Head of Operations at Thrive Renewables, said:

“As we work towards net zero, it’s important for us to take a circular approach with our projects wherever we can. Doing so not only helps to reduce carbon emissions, but supports the development of long term, sustainable supply chains.

“As one of our first clean energy projects, Sigurd has had a tremendous life so far and replacing the rotor will give the turbine a new lease of life, ensuring it can continue delivering clean electricity to power local homes and businesses.

“We’re pleased to be teaming up with ReBlade and hope to see more and more asset owners exploring ways to sustainably recycle or repurpose materials when the time comes.”

Made primarily from fiberglass and other composite materials, wind turbine blades are difficult to recycle.

ReBlade is the first UK company to decommission turbine blades without the use of landfill, pioneering innovative approaches to blade handling that enable circular end-destinations for blade waste.

wind turbine blade on the grass at Burgar Hill

Steven Lindsay of ReBlade, who managed the blade decommissioning process, added:

“Located in one of the best sites for wind generation in Europe, the Sigurd turbine blades demonstrate the strength and efficiency of onshore wind.

“This turbine is arguably one of the most productive in the UK and while the blades have been maintained exceptionally well, after 8 million miles of flight, it’s time for these blades to find a new purpose.

“We are delighted to be working with Thrive Renewables on designing items that maximise the material reuse of these blades, and we look forward to seeing a new set of blades on Sigurd generate clean energy for decades to come.” 

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