Sweden erects the first wooden wind turbine tower

Swedish engineering and industrial design company Modvion has erected the first wooden wind turbine tower on an island outside Gothenburg, Sweden. It was a pilot project for the Swedish Wind Technology Centre and will be used for research purposes.

Modvion develops modular wind turbine designs in renewable engineered wood. The company claims their technology results in decreased cost and streamlined installation of towers that exceed 120 meters.

Modvion partnered with glulam company Moelven Töreboda to build the wooden wind turbine tower, which is 30 meters high. Because the two companies built the tower in a modular fashion, and wood is lighter than steel, it’s easier to transport, so future towers can be built taller.

Johan Åhlén, CEO of Moelven Töreboda, said:

Wood has fantastic properties and we need to build much more in wood if we are to meet the climate goals. For us, it is hugely inspiring to participate in this pilot project where we have been able to use renewable wood in a design for the production of renewable energy.

The first commercial wooden towers will be built from 2022. Modvion has signed declarations of intent with renewables company Varberg Energi for a 110-meter tower and wind turbine builder Rabbalshede Kraft for 10 towers that are at least 150 meters high.

Otto Lundman, CEO of Modvion, said:

This is a major breakthrough that paves the way for the next generation of wind turbines. Laminated wood is stronger than steel at the same weight and by building in modules, the wind turbines can be taller. By building in wood, we also reduce carbon dioxide emissions in manufacturing.

Further, the carbon dioxide absorbed by trees as they grow is stored in the wooden towers, which means that the wind turbines are climate-neutral right from the start.

Photo: Modvion

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Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at michelle@9to5mac.com. Check out her personal blog.