In a groundbreaking collaboration, the ESB Group, a leading energy company, is teaming up with Cork-based start-up BladeBridge to transform decommissioned wind turbine blades into a cutting-edge e-mobility Hub. This innovative project not only addresses the challenge of repurposing non-recyclable wind turbine blades but also aligns with ESB’s commitment to achieving Net Zero by 2040 and fostering a circular economy.
BladeBridge, a participant in the ‘2050 Accelerator’ program – a sustainability-focused start-up accelerator facilitated by Dogpatch Labs in partnership with ESB – has been at the forefront of exploring sustainable solutions for the renewable energy sector. The collaboration between ESB and BladeBridge emerged from the ESB Innovation team’s efforts at the X_Site hub for sustainable innovation, where they worked together to identify novel ways to repurpose wind turbine blades.
The focal point of this collaboration is a mutually beneficial pilot project that aims to construct a state-of-the-art e-mobility Hub utilizing repurposed and decommissioned wind turbine blades. This initiative is a testament to both companies’ commitment to supporting the circular economy while achieving key objectives in ESB’s Net Zero strategy: decarbonizing energy, building resilient infrastructure, and empowering customers to live more sustainably.
Donal Phelan, Head of Innovation at ESB Group, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “We are delighted to be working with BladeBridge to repurpose wind turbine blades through the development of an exciting e-mobility Hub that will showcase that this type of infrastructure can still serve a purpose after decommissioning while preventing further landfill waste.”
The collaboration leverages ESB’s expertise in civic environment understanding, safety protocols, electrical standards, and engineering and design capabilities. Combining these strengths with BladeBridge’s specialization in blade reverse engineering for repurposing creates a synergy that makes this transformative project possible.
Dr Angie Nagle, CEO of BladeBridge, highlighted the environmental significance of repurposing wind turbine blades, stating, “Wind turbines have a 25-year lifespan, and the blade is the only part of the turbine that is not commercially recyclable – which poses a huge problem for wind farm owners.” She emphasized that these decommissioned blades, crafted from composite materials with remarkable durability, still hold considerable potential for a second life. The prevailing methods of disposing of turbine blades, such as sending them to landfills, will be banned in Europe by 2025. In collaboration with ESB Group, BladeBridge aims to repurpose these blades into sustainable infrastructure, creating a new e-mobility Hub that embodies the future of eco-friendly urban mobility.
This collaboration not only addresses the environmental challenges associated with wind turbine decommissioning but also sets a precedent for sustainable infrastructure development. For more information on this pioneering initiative, visit www.bladebridge.ie.
In conclusion, the partnership between ESB Group and BladeBridge is a shining example of how innovative thinking and collaboration can turn challenges into opportunities, paving the way for a greener and more sustainable future.