GE Renewable Energy and LafargeHolcim to explore wind turbine recycling possibilities
GE wind turbines in Germany.
Photo provided by GE Renewable Energy

GE Renewable Energy and LafargeHolcim to explore wind turbine recycling possibilities

The companies have entered a memorandum of understanding to research how wind turbine blades can be turned into sustainable construction materials.

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General Electric (GE) Renewable Energy and LafargeHolcim, the world’s biggest cement manufacturer, have struck a deal to explore the recycling of wind turbine blades, reports CNBC.

According to a release, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) will see the companies focus on exploring new ways of recycling wind blades, including as a construction material to build new wind farms.

The recent agreement builds on an already existing relationship between the two companies, with GE Renewable Energy announcing it was going to partner with LafargeHolcim and another firm, COBOD International, to develop wind turbines that use 3D-printed concrete bases last year.

Since the start of that collaboration, wind turbine tower prototypes have been developed using concrete 3D printing technology that is reportedly “stronger, more efficient, and can be built ten times faster than before.”

“This is a truly exciting next step in our journey to introduce new circular lifecycle improvements for the wind industry. We are delighted to work with LafargeHolcim on these critical projects, which will help to improve the sustainability of wind power now and well into the future,” said Jérôme Pécresse, CEO of GE Renewable Energy.

With its research and development team, LafargeHolcim plans to explore how wind turbine blades can be turned into sustainable construction materials. This research builds on the company’s work, under its Geocycle brand, to recover energy from GE’s decommissioned turbine blades after they have been removed from the turbine and shredded.

Geocycle currently offers co-processing solutions for wind blades in Germany and will evaluate the possibility of extending this solution to other parts of Europe.

“With sustainability at the core of our strategy, accelerating renewable energy and the circular economy are top priorities for our business. I’m very excited about this collaboration with GE Renewable Energy because it meets both goals at once,” said Edelio Bermejo, head of LafargeHolcim’s Global Innovation Center.