New $3.3M facility planned in Bath will recycle wind turbine blades and other materials
- Aug 10, 2022 2:24 pm GMT
The final destination for retiring massive wind turbine blades across the state, and perhaps the nation, may soon be located in
Momentum will specialize in windmill blade recycling, and the new company is exploring the recycling of additional renewable energy materials such as solar panels and lithium-ion batteries. Momentum is taking over the windmill recycling operation of T&R Environmental, a sister company based on
"Even here in
Momentum is working with the state
"It's essentially being brought in, processed in different variations and then shipped back out," said Polmanteer.
"It sounds like we might be one of the first ones in the country to write policy and protocol for windmill blades."
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Construction is expected to start in October and Momentum anticipates the new facility being fully operational in the third quarter of 2023, likely by September. Three jobs at T&R Environmental are being reallocated to Momentum, which will hire for 12 new positions paying an average annual wage of
Momentum has an agreement under consideration with the Steuben County IDA for tax incentives to aid the project. The savings for the company total around
Real estate taxes on the site currently stand at around
The agreement will be subject to a public hearing before the IDA votes on final approval later this month. The IDA evaluation of the project noted that Momentum will be collecting waste from across the state and the country, which will result in new revenue entering
"It's exciting to work with a company that is on the cutting edge of this technology," said IDA Executive Director
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Momentum project fills a growing need in windmill industry
The massive size and durability of wind turbines present a challenge when the blades are decommissioned. Retired blades in the
Momentum hopes to alleviate some of that pressure. Its new facility in Bath will cover 28,000 square feet and house state-of-the-art technology for material recycling processes. Momentum's windmill recycling process is currently approved in
Windmill blades are often constructed with balsa wood and fiber glass. Polmanteer explained that the blades can be cut up into manageable sizes with a diamond saw, and then fed into a shredder that effectively turns the blades into a mulch-like material.
That end-product can then be transported to the
"Instead of importing clean soil, we are importing fluff to cover garbage," said Polmanteer. "It's the most cost-effective solution."
Other companies have utilized shredded blades in the manufacturing of cement, and some have researched how to repurpose the material into new products.
Momentum is also exploring material salvage solutions for solar panels and lithium batteries, two other industries where recycling technology and capacity have lagged behind growing usage.
"The reality is there's not a lot of landfill space for this stuff," said Polmanteer.
Momentum's new facility will also take in traditional construction and demolition debris.
"It's good for the county because you're taking care of a problem with worn-out blades. Everybody that has wind farms or solar farms coming into their municipality are worried about decommissioning," said VanEtten. "Secondly, if we don't have enough (cover) material, we have to haul in actual fill to cap the garbage every day (at the landfill). It's better for the county to have a customer bringing in material every day you can use as a cap as opposed to having to buy and haul it in yourself."
Momentum's new home will be located on 49 undeveloped acres at the northern end of the
Polmanteer said the company has received the support of neighboring businesses on
Between Momentum and the development of an Amazon warehouse, truck traffic is expected to increase exponentially on
"We're doing everything we can to maximize the greenspace out there on the buffer between any residential things that may develop," said Polmanteer. "It's a perfect property for our needs."
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