A pedestrian bridge made from decommissioned wind turbine blades is being constructed in Cork, Ireland.
Two 13-metre blades are being used to build a 5 metre-long footbridge at the Middleton-Younghal Greenway, with a third one being utilised for structural testing, as part of the Re-Wind project.
The Re-Wind project – which is being conducted by researchers at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and supported by scientists from the Queen’s University Belfast and Georgia Tech in the US – aims to investigate the potential of repurposing discarded wind turbine blades in bid to minimise the waste coming from the wind energy sector.
The blades, which were donated by the Belfast wind turbine management firm Everun, will replace steel girders, which are the main horizontal supports of such a structure.
In Ireland alone, over 11,000 tons of blades are due to be decommissioned by 2025. Strathclyde University has predicted that global turbine waste is set to rise from 400,000 tonnes per year in 2030 to two million tonnes by 2050.
The research team at CIT said repurposing of wind turbine blades as girders for pedestrian bridges could benefit the environment as it avoids tonnes of blade waste that would otherwise be landfilled.
Other repurposing projects being investigated by Re-Wind include outdoor furniture, electrical transmission towers, highway noise barriers and coastal wake breaks to decrease erosion.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.