Global mass timber supplier Stora Enso and German startup Voodin Blade Technology have signed a partnership agreement to develop sustainable wind turbine blades from wood.
Under the agreement, the two companies commit to developing sustainable alternatives for wind turbine blades and creating a competitive and reliable supply chain.
They are currently producing and installing a 20-metre wooden blade for a 0.5 MW turbine near Warburg, Germany by the end of 2022. The partners have plans to build one four times that size in the near future.
Lars Völkel, Executive Vice President, Wood Products Division, Stora Enso, said: “With the current energy crisis and ambitious decarbonisation goals, wind energy has never been more in demand.
“Through this partnership with Voodin Blades we further accelerate our ability to develop a sustainable and competitive supply chain for the growing market of wind turbine blades.”
Wind power blades are typically produced with fibreglass and carbon fibre, energy-intensive non-renewable plastics made from petrochemicals that cannot be easily recycled.
Tens of thousands of ageing blades today end up in landfills. By developing blades with sustainable wood, the new partners say they can make the blades lighter and reduce the overall dependency on fossil fuel extraction.
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Joachim Knapp, mechanical engineer and automation expert with Voodin Blades, commented: “The wind industry as a key driver towards carbon neutrality needs to become 100% sustainable and environmentally friendly.
“With the installation of the 20-metre blade, we are opening a path towards a more sustainable future. In time we will start to develop and manufacture blades for future multi-megawatt turbines.”
Stora Enso says it is providing 100% sustainable wood for the new blades.
The first blade will be developed using Stora Enso’s LVL, a mass timber product that has a high load-bearing capacity.
In addition to its collaboration with Voodin Blades, Stora Enso recently announced a partnership with wood technology company Modvion to establish wood as the material of choice for wind turbine towers.
Image credit: SvartKat/Shutterstock
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