Wind Energy – Dismantling
After 25 years of faithful service, the wind turbines of the Irene Vorrink Wind Farm, one of Vattenfall’s oldest wind farms in the Netherlands, will be dismantled.
All parts of the wind turbines will also be recycled where possible.
The 28 wind turbines of the Irene Vorrink Wind Farm, named after the Dutch politician Irene Vorrink, who passed away in 1996, are now in the water along the IJsselmeerdijk north of Lelystad.
Construction of much larger wind turbines so close to the dike is no longer permitted for reasons of dike safety. It is therefore not possible to rebuild the turbines in the same location.
In place of the current 28 wind turbines with a total capacity of 16.8 MW, Vattenfall and SwifterwinT will erect two rows of 12 wind turbines with a total capacity of 132 MW, located 500 and 1500 metres further into the IJsselmeer. Of these turbines, 14 will be owned by Vattenfall and 10 by SwifterwinT.
The dismantling of the wind turbines and the construction of the new wind farm will be supervised by Matthew Adam May, who works in Vattenfall’s Construction Management. “Starting in early March, we will work on one wind turbine every day to prepare it for easy dismantling as much as possible. We first shut down the turbine and then remove as many bolts and electric cables as possible. All the turbines will be shut down by April, and then we will dismantle the various parts of the turbine from a barge on the water. That will be one per day if the weather cooperates,” says Matthew.
Once the rotor with the turbine blades, the nacelle and the tower have been removed, the bridge to the dike will also be dismantled. Eventually, there will only be a small part of the steel foundation (monopile) protruding above the water. Using special equipment, the monopile will be sawn from the inside two metres below the bottom of the IJsselmeer, and after this part is pulled out of the water the rest of the monopile and the cabling will remain in the bottom of the IJsselmeer next to the dike.
The turbines are too small and too old to be reused at another location, so all parts of the turbines will be recycled where possible. “Many materials from the tower to the nacelle are relatively easy to recycle,” says Matthew, “because they consist of steel, copper and other metals, as well as oils and plastics.”
Recycling the turbine blades is a tricky process, but Vattenfall has committed to recycling them fully by 2030. Matthew says that he already expects to be able to achieve this goal with the 84 dismantled turbine blades. “We are in discussion with a few parties to have all the blades recycled into high-quality raw materials for completely new products.”