Windy Standard wind farm, Scotland [credit: RWE.com]

Ideas, opinions, feedback etc. are invited here. It could be said they’ve already had decades to think about this, but any negativity will no doubt be ignored. Existing uses include children’s play areas and bike sheds, but there’s only so many of those that would find a place.


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One wind farm company is looking for imaginative ways to repurpose turbines at the end of their lives, says BBC News.

When Windy Standard was built in Dumfries and Galloway in the mid-1990s, it was Scotland’s second largest wind farm.

Now it is coming to the end of its functional life and the old turbines are set to be replaced by more powerful machines.

But what happens to the original turbines? Owner Fred Olsen Renewables wants to find creative and sustainable ways to ensure they do not end up in landfill.

Instead, the towers and blades could be turned into playgrounds, climbing walls, skate parks and even pedestrian bridges.

Why do the turbines need to come down?

The earliest phase of the Windy Standard wind farm – now officially known as Brockloch Rig 1 – has permission to operate in Carsphairn Forest until the end of 2027, after its original 25-year consent was extended.

After that, planning conditions state that all the original turbines should be removed and the land “restored to its former condition”.

However, Fred Olsen Renewables hopes to “repower” the site – removing the existing turbines and replacing them with new, more powerful machines, using existing tracks and infrastructure on the hillside.

Each of the 36 turbines that make up the original phase of the wind farm measure 53.5m (175ft) from base to tip and together produce 21.6MW of energy – enough to power about 16,000 homes.

Under the new plans, they would be replaced by no more than nine new turbines.

At up to 200m (656ft) tall, each could be more than three times the height of the existing turbines, but together they have the capacity to generate more than twice as much energy (45MW) and power 38,000 homes.

Can the old turbines be recycled?

The Windy Standard turbines are made from 75% recyclable material, including the steel tubes that form each tower.

But each tower has three 17m (55ft) blades made from carbon fibre reinforced plastic which cannot easily be recycled.

It means green energy firms such as Fred Olsen Renewables need to find ways to re-use or repurpose the components.

What could happen to the turbines?

The firm has drawn up some very early concepts for breathing new life into the Windy Standard turbines, after taking inspiration from some European projects.

In the Netherlands, decommissioned wind turbine blades have been used to build playgrounds in Rotterdam and Terneuzen.

And in the Port of Aalborg – which claims to be Denmark’s first carbon neutral port – a bicycle shed has been built from a disused blade.

The Windy Standard proposals – which include using the blades to create public seating, wind breaks and pedestrian bridges – now form the basis of a consultation asking for ideas and opinions.

Full article here.

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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October 2, 2021