New blades for Burradale

May 10th 2021

A set of three wind turbine blades has arrived in Shetland and has been taken to Burradale Wind Farm. There were a few minutes of traffic disruption because it’s good practise to involve an escort for loads of this length. We’re grateful to Police Scotland for helping us minimise the disturbance.

This is a visible aspect of Shetland Aero’s ongoing investment in our site and is part of our plan to keep Burradale operating for a long time to come. These turbines went up over twenty-one years ago and we expect them to continue producing energy for many more years. We frequently have to renew major components and this year we decided our blades are due some extra attention. We did something similar ten years ago and it’s the right time to look at them again.

There’s other preparations to complete but when we’re ready and when there’s a suitable weather window then we’ll simply swap these blades for ones in use.

The blades are a good example of how our business looks to reduce waste, reuse elements and recycle only as a last resort. Our new set are sourced from another site that’s been re-powered and they’ve been professionally refurbished to give them another ten years of life. Our removed blades will go to be similarly refurbished and, eventually, a set from Burradale can be used on someone else’s project. This gives each blade several ‘lives’, which is the most environmentally friendly way to operate.

There’s a huge established market in used turbines and components that become available when major utilities repower old sites. Refurbished blades are particularly popular with community projects that need to balance cost, availability and environmental considerations.
These blade replacements are straightforward but it’s still a substantial project involving an entire team to plan, coordinate, deliver and undertake. We thank WindTranz Ireland and Peterson UK for logistics, and L&M Engineering and Wind Turbine Services UK Ltd for engineering support.