The World’s Tallest Wood Wind Turbine is Coming to Sweden

wood wind tower section being erected

Photo by Modvion

by | Aug 1, 2023

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wood wind tower section being erected

(Credit: Modvion)

Sweden is building the world’s largest wind turbine made out of wood. The project, created by a wood technology company and a Danish wind turbine manufacturer, is expected to be operational before the end of the year. 

Modvion is the wood company behind the project, which will measure 105 meters in height, or 150 meters including the height of the blades. By comparison, most wind turbines built in the United States measure about 80 meters on average, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. It is the first commercial installation for Modvion, and the project is being built for the energy company Varberg Energi, in the municipality of Skara in Sweden.

Vestas, a Danish wind turbine company, is producing a 2-megawatt turbine that will be mounted on the tower. Vestas has been a shareholder of Modvion since 2021, though this is the first time Modvion’s tower technology will be paired with a turbine from Vestas.

The pairing comes at a time when the world is experiencing record heat, which is putting pressure on electric grids, increasing the urgency for renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions that impact climate change. Countries around the world are ramping up their wind and solar technology, with Great Britain recently declaring it set a new record for wind power generation last year.

Wooden towers emit far less carbon during manufacturing and the material also stores carbon. Towers within wind technology typically emit the most carbon, and making the switch to wood creates a negative carbon component, storing more CO2 than is produced during production, according to Modvion.

“This is the start of a new green industry. By using Nordic raw materials and Swedish technology, we can enable climate-neutral wind power for a growing global market,” Otto Lundman, CEO of Modvion, said in a statement.

The wooden tower is made from laminated veneer lumber. Modvion manufactures the wooden modules at its new factory in Gothenburg. The structure is created and assembled four by four at the construction site into seven sections. The company began the work by laying the foundation earlier this year and transported the modules to the site where section assembly has already begun.

The end result is a wooden tower that is lighter than the steel used in many wind turbines, and the design allows for transportation on standard roads without the need for permit procedures. Modvion touted the project as also being more cost-effective compared to steel wind towers.

“Wood enables building higher towers at a lower cost, which makes wind power more efficient since winds are stronger and more stable higher up. That gives you more electricity from each permit to build wind turbines,” Lundman said.

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