The best way to recycle a 150 foot wind turbine blade? Haul it to Louisiana, MO

Within the small group of Louisiana, Missouri, it is not unusual to see what appear to be large white fenders rolling down the street, connected to flatbed tractor-trailers. As soon as a bustling buying and selling port, the historic Mississippi River city 90 miles north of St. Louis has develop into a hub for an uncommon commodity: used wind turbine blades. Shipments from almost each nook of america arrive every day at Veolia North America’s recycling facility, the ultimate cease for end-of-life turbine blades.

Whereas standing within the manufacturing facility’s gravel car parking zone on Monday, Rose Collard pointed to 2 sections of a 150-foot turbine blade from Massena, Iowa, weighing 20,000 kilos mixed. “It is one of many greatest blades we get,” stated Collard, environmental well being and security specialist on the recycling facility. The US wind power trade has seen document development in recent times, with dozens of latest initiatives arising throughout the nation. Missouri, Illinois and Iowa accounted for a considerable share of this development in 2020, rating among the many states with the very best new wind energy capability. However this thriving trade now faces a problem: what to do with outdated wind turbine blades when it is time to change them.

Though most turbine blades are designed to final a minimum of 20 years, some are discarded a lot sooner, stated wind know-how engineer Derek Berry. “Some are catastrophically broken by issues like a lightning strike,” stated Berry, who is predicated on the Nationwide Renewable Vitality Laboratory in Colorado. “Or you may have a big wind farm that was constructed 10 or 15 years in the past and an organization needs to strip down the older, shorter blades and put in longer blades that produce extra energy.”

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Creator: Shahla FarzanSt. Louis Public Radio
Brian Munoz, St. Louis Public Radio

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