Stora Enso forms partnership with Voodin Blades

16 November 2022

Stora Enso and Voodin Blade Technology GmbH have signed a partnership agreement to develop sustainable wind turbine blades from wood.

Under the agreement, the two companies are committed to developing sustainable alternatives for wind turbine blades and creating a competitive and reliable supply chain. They are currently producing and installing a 20m blade for a 0.5MW turbine and have plans for an 80m blade.

Voodin Blades is a German-based start-up company developing sustainable rotor blades for wind turbines. Stora Enso is a leading global supplier of mass timber products, including LVL, a construction material suitable for wind power construction. The partnership supports Stora Enso’s strategic offering of innovative solutions to replace less environmental-friendly materials with renewable ones made from wood.

“With the current energy crisis and ambitious decarbonisation goals, wind energy has never been more in demand,” said Lars Völkel, Stora Enso’s executive vice-president, Wood Products Division. “Through this partnership with Voodin Blades we further accelerate our ability to develop a sustainable and competitive supply chain for the growing market of wind turbine blades,”

Wind power blades are typically produced with fibreglass and carbon fibre, energy-intensive non-renewable plastics made from petrochemicals that cannot be easily recycled. Tens of thousands of ageing blades today end up in landfills. By developing blades with sustainable wood, Stora Enso and Voodin Blades can make the blades lighter and reduce the overall dependency on fossil fuel extraction.

“The wind industry as a key driver towards carbon neutrality needs to become 100% sustainable and environmentally friendly,” said Joachim Knapp, mechanical engineer and automation expert with Voodin Blades. “With the installation of the 20m blade, we are opening a path towards a more sustainable future. In time we will start to develop and manufacture blades for future multi-megawatt turbines.”

Stora Enso is providing 100% sustainable wood for the new blades. The first 20m blade will be developed using Stora Enso’s LVL, a mass timber product that has a high load-bearing capacity that easily supports large scale rotary blades. Unlike steel and concrete, LVL is relatively lightweight to transport on-site without heavy-duty equipment. Furthermore, LVL is a renewable material with a minimal carbon footprint. The 20m blade will be installed on a 0.5MW turbine near Warburg, Germany by the end of this year.

In addition to its collaboration with Voodin Blades, Stora Enso recently announced a partnership with wood technology company Modvion to establish wood as the material of choice for wind turbine towers. 

The first 20m blade will be made using Stora Enso’s LVL as seen here at the Stora Enso sawmill in Ybbs, Austria PHOTO: STORA ENSO