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06/05/2024

Avangrid Partners with Startup WindLoop to Test Innovative Process for Wind Turbine Blade Recycling

Avangrid Partners with Startup WindLoop to Test Innovative Process for Wind Turbine Blade Recycling

Avangrid recently donated 300 pounds of decommissioned wind turbine blades to WindLoop to test recycling process

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — June 5, 2024 — Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and member of the Iberdrola Group, today announced that it recently donated 300 pounds of decommissioned wind turbine blades to WindLoop, a startup comprising of students at Yale University, to test an innovative process for blade recycling. Consistent with Avangrid’s commitment to sustainability, WindLoop’s mission is to build a circular economy for the wind industry by recycling wind turbine components.

“Avangrid is one of America’s most innovative leaders in renewable energy, and this is yet another example of our forward-thinking approach to accelerating a clean energy transition across the United States,” said Avangrid CEO Pedro Azagra. “We recognize the great challenges in front of us, and we are helping lay the groundwork to find new and efficient methods to recycle blades that will improve the circularity of our industry.”

Wind turbine blade recycling has long been a challenge in the industry due to the high costs associated with transporting blades and difficulty extracting blade materials – including glass fiber and epoxy resin – in such a way that they that they can be reused. The donated turbine blades came from Avangrid’s Baffin wind farm in Kenedy County, Texas.

WindLoop’s strategy includes two parts. It incorporates an on-site blade shredder which has been shown to significantly reduce transportation costs from wind farm to recycling facility. The company has also developed a process, using green chemistry principles, to effectively separate the fibers and resin in blades. WindLoop’s novel solution can recover over 90% of turbine blade material and 97% of the overall value of the turbine blades.

“For a future powered by solar, wind, and energy storage, we need to minimize waste and ensure that materials are recycled for the next wave of clean energy manufacturing,” Shubh Jain, CEO and Co-Founder of WindLoop. “Currently, there is no large-scale industrial process for recycling wind turbine blades, and companies are facing increasing pressure to find recycling facilities that offer circular recycling solutions. WindLoop seeks to bridge this gap. Avangrid's support is essential for WindLoop to carry out advanced R&D and bring its novel recycling process for wind turbine blades to market. Our shared commitment to developing a circular economy for wind energy in America makes this partnership especially promising.”

Avangrid is committed to minimizing resource consumption and waste and establishing a circular process to keep materials in use and at high value for the long term. Engaging in a circular economy is one of the top three environmental priorities for Avangrid, resulting in a plan to recycle 100% of the company’s decommissioned wind turbine blades by 2030.

 “Sustainability is at the core of every decision we make at Avangrid, and serves as a guiding principle in our business," said Laney Brown, vice president of sustainability at Avangrid. "Blade recycling is a key component to the sustainable use of resources as we support the clean energy transition. We are pleased to work with forward-thinkers like WindLoop to develop circular solutions that minimize environmental impacts in our industry."

Finding a solution to recycling turbine components will become increasingly important to the maturing U.S. wind industry as repowering becomes more common. Repowering includes the replacement of some or all parts of a wind turbine once they reach 10-15 years old to capitalize on improving wind turbine technology and increasing efficiency. Finding a commercially viable blade recycling solution is important to ensuring the sustainability of current and future wind projects across the nation’s wind fleet.

WindLoop’s team comprises of four students at Yale School of the Environment in Connecticut, near Avangrid’s company headquarters.
 

About Avangrid

About Avangrid: Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR) aspires to be the leading sustainable energy company in the United States. Headquartered in Orange, CT with approximately $44 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states, Avangrid has two primary lines of business: networks and renewables. Through its networks business, Avangrid owns and operates eight electric and natural gas utilities, serving more than 3.3 million customers in New York and New England. Through its renewables business, Avangrid owns and operates a portfolio of renewable energy generation facilities across the United States. Avangrid employs approximately 8,000 people and has been recognized by JUST Capital in 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 as one of the JUST 100 companies – a ranking of America’s best corporate citizens. In 2024, Avangrid ranked first among utilities and 12 overall. The company supports the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and was named among the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2024 for the sixth consecutive year by the Ethisphere Institute. Avangrid is a member of the group of companies controlled by Iberdrola, S.A. For more information, visit www.avangrid.com.

 

About Iberdrola: Iberdrola is one of the world's biggest energy companies and a leader in renewables, spearheading the energy transition to a low carbon economy. The group supplies energy to almost 100 million people in dozens of countries. With a focus on renewable energy, smart networks and smart solutions for customers, Iberdrola’s main markets include Europe (Spain, the United Kingdom, Portugal, France, Germany, Italy and Greece), the United States, Brazil, Mexico and Australia. The company is also present in growth markets such as Japan, Taiwan, Ireland, Sweden and Poland, among others.

With a workforce of nearly 40,000 and assets in excess of €141.7 billion, across the world, Iberdrola helps to support 400,000 jobs across its supply chain, with annual procurement of €12.2 billion. A benchmark in the fight against climate change, Iberdrola has invested more than €130 billion over the past two decades to help build a sustainable energy model, based on sound environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles.

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