Stora Enso is developing windmill parts together with wood technology and innovation companies. Traditional windmill blades are made of glass fibre that is difficult to recycle at end of life while windmill masts are of steel and concrete. Laminated veneer lumber, LVL, components are well suited for challenging structural applications requiring strength while light in weight.
First LVL windmill blades measure some 20 meters and will be installed in windmills still during year 2022. Larger 80 meter LVL blades are designed for 4-5 MW mills, the most common type today, which are now being installed across Europe to replace fossil fuels rapidly. Windmill masts reach up to 175 meter height, requiring very solid structures, and can in the future be made of LVL as the technical properties allow this.
Majority of windmill carbon emission come from parts manufacturing, transportation and installation. Wooden components are carbon sinks themselves, apart from being lighter in weight to transport and therefore have a smaller carbon footprint. Wooden components are easy to recycle at the of product life, where they can be used to feed other sectors of circular economy.