Tackling Reuse, Recycling and Recovery of Materials

Case Study
Minute Read
Brookfield Renewable is working on opportunities to reuse, recycle or recover materials from major components in its solar, wind and hydro operations to support its goal of diverting these materials from landfills.

One of Brookfield Renewable’s preferred strategies to grow its generation portfolio is to take advantage of opportunities to repower existing assets and extend their useful lives. They take available technologies and opportunities to recycle all end-of-life major components from those assets, ultimately reducing their environmental impact.

In 2022, Brookfield Renewable completed the repowering of more than 300 turbines for the 845 MW Shepherds Flat wind project in Oregon. As part of the project, Brookfield Renewable’s supplier, GE, put in place plans for wind turbine blades and the majority of other composite materials removed during repowering activities to be recycled. Rather than disposal in landfills, the blade materials were shredded into Repurposed Engineered Material (REM) and used to produce and augment cement products.

Wind turbines

In addition, in 2022 Brookfield Renewable engaged directly with their supply chain and peers to understand their initiatives and goals in recycling and recovering materials from major components. Brookfield Renewables worked with trade associations including Wind Europe and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) to progress industry solutions, including SEIA’s National PV Recycling Program, which identifies and qualifies recycling companies.

These engagements informed the development of its major component plans for solar panels and wind turbines. For example, Brookfield Renewable’s Canadian platform was able to recycle a hydro unit, which was at the end of its useful life, resulting in the recycling of 1,996 tons of end-of-life components.