Iberdrola JV looks to develop wind turbine recycling

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The logo of Spanish utility company Iberdrola is seen outside its headquarters in Madrid, Spain, May 23, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

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June 1 (Reuters) - Spain's Iberdrola (IBE.MC) said on Wednesday it had teamed up with engineering firm FCC (FCC.MC) in a pilot project aimed at recycling materials such as fibreglass and resins from used wind turbine blades and other renewable energy equipment.

Their jointly owned company, called EnergyLOOP, will invest an initial 10 million euros ($11 million) to set up a wind turbine blade recycling plant in Navarre, in northern Spain.

It will also seek to develop methods to recycle other renewable equipment such as solar photovoltaic panels and batteries, the companies said in statement.

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Turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa (SGREN.MC) and the regional government of Navarre will support the project.

Wind turbine blades, which can be as long as 125 metres, are made with resins that bind different materials together.

They are generally non-recyclable and, once decommissioned, end up in huge landfill sites that have started attracting environmentalists' attention.

Recycling for Spain's wind power industry is a more pressing issue than in some other countries as it was an early pioneer in the sector, Iberdrola and FCC said.

Some 5,700 wind turbines per year will be dismantled in Europe by 2030, the two companies estimate.

($1 = 0.9328 euros)

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Reporting by Marta Serafinko; editing by Inti Landauro and Jason Neely

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