Earlier this year, we delved into the massive challenge coming our way in terms of what to do with old wind turbine blades.

The recycling of wind turbine blades remains notoriously challenging, as the blades are designed to be lightweight yet durable, making them difficult to break apart. Globally, most decommissioned wind turbine blades currently end up in a landfill, and by 2025, some 25,000 tonnes of blades will reach the end of their operational life, with this number set to grow annually.

To help address this growing challenge, Plaswire, an Armagh-based company, has partnered with wind giant Ørsted to recycle blades from its onshore wind farms in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

A recently completed pilot project saw three blades from a decommissioned turbine from Ørsted’s Owenreagh Wind Farm in Tyrone successfully recycled.

The blades were first cleaned and shredded, then granulated and finally used in Plaswire’s smart RX Polymer, a material typically used in the construction industry.

The pilot project followed a commitment made by Ørsted in 2021 to either reuse, recycle, or recover all of the wind turbine blades in its global portfolio of onshore and offshore wind farms upon decommissioning. The company operates a portfolio of 378MW of onshore wind assets across the island of Ireland.


During the pilot, Plaswire developed a cost-efficient and scalable method to recycle 100% of Ørsted’s turbine blades, turning them into new products that can substitute materials such as virgin plastics, steel and concrete.

In a statement, Ørsted said the Plaswire partnership proves promising for the wider wind energy industry, where today between 85% and 95% of a wind turbine can be recycled.

“As some of our onshore fleet approach their end of life, we are excited to have found a local partner who has the technology to break down our turbine blades and remould the materials into new, durable RX Polymer,” said Ray O’Connell, director of operations at Ørsted UK & Ireland.

Andrew Billingsley, CEO of Plaswire, added, “Already, we have grown to employ 14 people in our Lurgan factory. We have recently purchased additional land to store wind turbine blades and invested in a larger composite polymer recycling processing machine, which will enable us to scale our business.”