Windmill towers made of wood
June 1, 2022 | 8:47 am CDT

A Modvion wind turbine is being assembled.

 
Stora Enso and wood technology company Modvion are partnering to establish wood as the material of choice for wind turbine towers. The collaboration’s purpose is to demonstrate the vast possibilities in using wood in demanding constructions.

When the height of a tower doubles, the effect from the turbine quadruples. The market predictions are 30 000 new turbines per year. And every wind turbine needs a tower.

LVL
Lightweight LVL modules are used to construct the wind turbine towers.

Modvion says that its modular wooden solution provides the world with tall towers that are not only close to climate neutral, but also stores CO2 during its lifetime.

Modvion builds wind turbine towers with laminated veneer lumber (LVL), which proportionate to its weight is stronger than steel. Stora Enso is a leading supplier of mass timber products, including LVL. The towers are built in lightweight modules, enabling taller towers and easy transportation on public roads without permits or road reconstructions. Taller towers reach stronger winds, leading to more cost-efficient energy production. 
 
“We are proud to enter into partnership with Modvion who, like us, strive to push boundaries and demonstrate the possibilities with wood.” said Lars Völkel, executive vice president, Division Wood Products, Stora Enso. “As one of the largest sawn wood producers and private forest owners in the world we play an important role in the transformation to a greener society. By contributing our expertise to Modvion we can further help make a difference in mitigating climate change and supporting the EU’s drive to increase renewable energy production.”  
 
Using wood, a renewable resource, can reduce the CO2 emissions for the tower by 90% while also storing carbon dioxide that has been taken up by trees during their growth. The wood used for advanced constructions such as wind turbine towers can be reused in new wood-based products which provides further long-term climate benefits.
 
“The commitment of Stora Enso to replace fossil-based materials with renewables is a perfect match for Modvion,” said Otto Lundman, CEO of Modvion. “To solve the climate crisis, we need more renewable energy as well as increased use of sustainable, wooden constructions. Together with Stora Enso we can enable both.”

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About the author
Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).