Could Scotland’s unwanted wind turbines be turned into playparks?

Posted: October 2, 2021 by oldbrew in Big Green, Energy, innovation, wind
Tags:

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.

Comments
  1. stewgreen says:

    They start off as expensive toys for Guardian readers

    … and end up as toys for kids

  2. Jamie Spry says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “Could Scotland’s unwanted wind turbines be turned into playparks?”

    Absolutely! With more than 13.9 million trees felled (massacred) in Scotland for windmill development from 2000–2019 there appears to be ample room for playparks and beyond! https://climatism.wordpress.com/2020/02/23/scotlands-net-zero-forest-management-program/

    There may even be ample room to facilitate future UN COP meetings next to, said, kiddies playparks if “Net Zero” requires such intense and massive deforestation to house industrial wind and solar ‘playparks’.

    Oh, the irony… kids and globalist bureaucrats all playing (and paying) together in the future playparks of denuded-forest-gulags.

    “Build Back Better!”

    (sigh)

  3. oldbrew says:

    They could make some more of these signs 😃

    This shape could be used as a wind break, bus shelter, spectator cover for small sports grounds, etc.

    BBC: A recent report by Zero Waste Scotland estimated that as many as 5,613 turbines will be decommissioned between 2021 and 2050, generating between 1.25m and 1.4m tonnes of material.

    And by 2040 the renewables sector will have to find a way to deal with about 240 out-of-use turbines a year – will they choose to recycle, repurpose, reuse or landfill?

    That’s 2 every 3 days.

  4. Gamecock says:

    “generating between 1.25m and 1.4m tonnes of material”

    I think the issue is volume, not weight.

    The motor portion should be recycled.

    The blades could be used for artificial reefs. (Translation: throw them in the ocean.)

  5. Gamecock says:

    In a related note, Christo has passed away.

  6. JB says:

    And when their “re-purposed” use reaches EOL?

    It appears bicycles will become the transportation of the future. Full circle.

  7. oldbrew says:

    Recycling wind turbine factories too…

    Wind Industry Jobs Myth Turning Britain Into Venezuelan Economic Basket Case
    October 1, 2021 by stopthesethings

    A wind turbine factory in Argyll has been permanently closed, with administrators now selling off equipment used at the site.

    Owners CS Wind effectively mothballed the Campbeltown factory, which manufactured offshore and onshore wind farm equipment, in the spring of 2020.

    The company said “deteriorating market conditions” had led to a lack of new contracts and declining revenues.

    All staff have now either left or been made redundant.

    https://stopthesethings.com/2021/10/01/wind-industry-jobs-myth-turning-britain-into-venezuelan-economic-basket-case/

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