New partnership looks to create circular wind sector

It will focus on reusing parts and elements of wind turbines – to cut emissions

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SSE Renewables, the University of Strathclyde and Renewable Parts have joined forces to make the wind sector in the UK more circular.

Most wind replacement parts are sourced from new, which increases the carbon emissions of the industry.

The three partners are looking for ways to ensure more minor components for wind farms can be recycled, remanufactured and reused – to stop the need for building unnecessary elements.

Reducing the waste of wind farms once they reach the end of use is also a key point for the partnership.

Research by the university and testing by both SSE and Renewable Parts will help the partners understand how a more circular approach to wind can be implemented.

SSE Renewables’ Stephen Wheeler said: “Delivering on the ambition of this new partnership with the University of Strathclyde and Renewable Parts to develop sustainable supply chains and a circular economy in the UK wind sector is a significant step forward on our journey to net zero.”

“Strathclyde’s role as the leading research and skills partner will underpin the growth and development of the sector, de-risking innovation and positioning the university and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland as leading institutions for sustainability in designing, manufacturing and operating wind turbines, as well as in education and skills development across the sector,” added Principal of the University of Strathclyde, Sir Jim McDonald.

Renewable Parts Chief Executive James Barry said: “This co-investment in new technology will not only enhance operational performance but will create many new, high skilled jobs in the renewables sector within the UK economy.”