PreZero Spain and Endesa announced the construction of the first wind blade recycling plant in the Iberian Peninsula a year ago, and throughout these months they have been working to make it a reality. Now a further step has been taken in this unique project, thanks to the constitution of Grineo, a company created to manage the blades that will be recycled in the facility designed by PreZero Spain and Endesa.
The objective of this first plant on the Peninsula is to recycle disused wind blades and turn them into raw material for new products, giving these components a new useful life. The facility where the blades managed by Grineo will be treated has been recognized by the European Union’s HORIZON EUROPE Framework Program, the main EU funding program for research and innovation. This recognition of an innovative project that will allow the concept of circular economy to be truly applied, recycling the components to give them a second useful life, is part of the BLADES2BUILD project in which 14 leading companies and research centers from all over Europe participate.
Fiberglass composite obtained from recycling a wind blade
The new wind blade recycling plant is thus continuing its processing and construction is expected to begin in 2024. This plant, which will be located in Cubillos del Sil (León), forms part of Endesa’s Futur-e Plan for the thermal power plant of Compostilla, currently being dismantled. In this sense, Endesa’s objective is to develop projects in the just transition zones that last over time, as it did in its day with thermal generation facilities, now it wants to continue to be linked to the territory with unique projects like this one. The new plant, in which around 30 people will come to work permanently, responds to the challenge of recycling more than 2,000 units of wind blades per year, that is, some 6,000 tons per year of fiberglass composite from wind turbines. betting decidedly on the circularity of the materials of the blades. The recovered secondary raw materials may be used, among other applications, in sectors such as the automotive industry, construction or ceramics, thus creating a circular economy in the Spanish wind power business. This solution will allow a more sustainable approach to repowering the existing wind turbines. Currently, 27,446 MW (megawatts) of wind power are installed in Spain, of which 22,959 will be over 25 years old at the end of this decade. (1) The project has been financed by the European Union. However, the views and opinions expressed are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Executive Agency for Climate, Infrastructure and Environment (CINEA). Neither the European Union nor the authority granting the subsidy can be held responsible for them.
Endesa is a leading electricity company in Spain, and the second in Portugal. In addition, it is the second gas operator in the Spanish market. It develops an integrated business of electricity generation, distribution and?commercialization,?and also offers, through?Endesa X, value-added services aimed at the electrification of energy uses in homes, companies, industries and Public Administrations. In addition, it is the first operator of recharging points in Spain through Endesa X Way, a business line dedicated entirely to electric mobility. Endesa is firmly committed to the “United Nations SDGs” and, as such, strongly promotes the development of renewable energies through “Enel Green Power Spain”, the digitization of networks through e-distribution, and Social Responsibility corporate. In this last field we also act from the Endesa Foundation. Our human team totals around 9,260 employees. Endesa is part of Enel, the largest electricity group in Europe. About PreZero Spain and Portugal With more than 16,000 employees, the company provides urban services (waste collection, street cleaning and management of green areas) to more than 12 million people in more than 900 municipalities, and develops circular economy solutions for the waste treatment and recycling in the more than 130 facilities in which it operates. The company is part of PreZero International which, with more than 30,000 employees in 11 countries, belongs to the Schwarz Group, including Lidl and Kaufland among the main food distribution companies in Europe.