Recycling wind turbines

By Catherine Colbert

Aging wind turbines – some installed more than 20 years ago – are getting a second wind. Towering gracefully among California wind farms, an estimated 10,000 machines are slated to be replaced by more modern and much larger wind turbines.

Instead of laying these wind soldiers to rest, a Massachusetts company is focused on breathing new life into them through what it has coined “The Ultimate Recycling Project.”

Aeronautica Windpower, as part of its business as a wind turbine and tower manufacturer, harvests the better machines from the field and refurbishes them to give them a second life. The firm likens the modern windmills to aircraft, as they’re stripped down to their frames and rebuilt with newer technologies and reporting capabilities to fly for another 20 years.