Making way for a new generation

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A 3 MW prototype wind turbine on the Swedish island of Gotland, fondly known as Turbine Matilda rather than by its official name, Näsudden II, was demolished last month using 91 kilos of dynamite. First erected in the late 1970's, Matilda's concrete tower was a reminder of an earlier era when Sweden was a leader in research and development of wind power.

As the most recent turbine to use the tower, Matilda started operation in 1993 and was a prototype from Norwegian engineering conglomerate Kvaerner. It produced 61.4 GWh of electricity over its lifetime. But the gearbox failed back in January 2007 and owner Vattenfall decided to scrap the entire tower.

A new tower and a 2.5 MW turbine from an industry newcomer, Indo-German company Kenersys (Windpower Monthly, December 2007) will take Matilda's place. The cement and metals from Matilda will be recycled.

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