Replacing outmoded renewable kit could be a nice little earner

Outside the town of Velm-Götzendorf on the Austria-Slovakia border, a year-long project to reboot a quarter-century-old wind farm came to an end in January. The site’s 10 turbines were razed to the ground and replaced with just four. But the power generation capacity remained essentially the same.

Velm-Götzendorf is the first of six “repowering” projects that London-listed energy group ContourGlobal plans to carry out on ageing Austrian wind farms over the coming three years, cutting turbine numbers from 40 to 30, while almost doubling production.

“When we look particularly at those older vintage assets, we see there is an opportunity,” says Karl Schnadt, ContourGlobal’s chief operating officer. “All over Europe there is an ageing fleet.” The group’s plans underline a growing trend to replace old wind farms in Europe and beyond, by dismantling maturing turbines and installing more efficient models with taller towers and longer blades.

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