Wind turbines produce renewable energy from air with a small footprint on the ground. This means they can get placed in various locations and offshore they can be massive (and therefore more efficient), but when the wind turbines reach the end of service their blades take up a lot space in landfills. Thankfully the blades can be reused to build bridges!
Even when they are no longer useful to produce electricity wind turbines live on in useful ways – another reason to build more turbines.
Originally a metals recycling company, Anmet started exploring ways to repurpose wind blades about seven years ago. Since then, it developed a small commercial business making outdoor furniture out of discarded wind turbine blades. Bridges, Sobczyk says, are the next area it would like to expand into commercially.
The company’s first blade bridge took about three years to test, permit, and build. After harvesting decommissioned blades from a wind farm in Germany, the blades were subjected to a battery of engineering tests in partnership with Poland’s Rzeszów University of Technology before being cut up to create the primary support structures for a pedestrian footbridge. In October, Amnet installed that bridge over a river in Szprotawa, the small town where the company is headquartered.