Julius Caesar once said: 'Practice is the teacher of all things.' Our Green Truster Stan Reinders has shown this. Last May, the working days of our construction manager completely changed. His daily workplace in the beautiful office in Oosterbeek changed to 'the place where it happens', in and around wind turbines. ‘We are sometimes too far from the practice, while we deal with the practice on a daily basis,’ tells Stan. “When Koppejan Wind Service offered me the opportunity to help dismantle wind turbines for seven weeks, I couldn't pass up this opportunity. After years of theoretical work on wind turbines, it was time to gain more practical knowledge'.
From Biddinghuizen to North Wales
Stan started his seven-week adventure at Windpark Kubbeweg. Here he would work as a mechanic for four and a half weeks. Windpark Kubbeweg, a windpark near Biddinghuizen, had to be dismantled to make way for the larger, more modern wind turbines of Windplan Groen. The new ones will yield more, and the dismantled wind turbines will find new life after revision in for instance Italy and Sweden.
One of the advantages of working in wind turbines is of course the view. ‘The view during the dismantling of Windpark Kubbeweg was very special because there were people dismanteling and building up wind turbines all around us. A hundred meters away from us a foundation was being built and if you turned slightly in the other direction, you could see several wind turbines being dismantled. Everything happened at the same time, but the special thing was that everything was coordinated with each other. For example, the path created for cars was used for both construction and dismantling, explains Stan.
For the next two weeks he crossed the North Sea to North Wales. With the hilly landscape in the background, he and his team dismantled four wind turbines from Windpark Hafoty Ucha. These wind turbines are also being replaced by new, better models. ‘We got to know the owner of this park, who was a farmer from the neighbourhood. He came from time to time to see how the work was going and, when necessary, used his two dogs to keep his sheep away from our work."
Both projects were commissioned by Business in Wind. They buy, disassemble, sell and install wind turbines worldwide with the aim of giving as many wind turbines as possible a second life.
Climbing the ladder
One of the major differences between the wind farms was not the view, but rather the inside of the wind turbines. ‘In Wales there was no elevator in the wind turbine, so everything had to be done by ladder. Of course, very good for our number of steps per day, but we could take a lot less things up with us and it was a big bummer when we forgot a tool,' explains Stan with a laugh. There were also differences in dismantling, for example in Wales the rotor was lifted in one go, while the blades were removed from the wind turbine one by one in Biddinghuizen. "And of course, a pub or snack bar gives a different feeling after a good day at work," says Stan.
“Now that I'm back in the office, I feel even more confident in my work and I know better what to look out for,” Stan says with a twinkle in his eye. “When I was allowed to join for a day trip in December, I already got some insight in what to expect, but I learned a lot of new things in the weeks that followed in spring.”
“I have come to really appreciate the people who do this work every day. It is physically demanding work, and you must have good technical knowledge. You continuously keep checklists, and your tools must always be in order. I noticed that the work is very demanding on your body, even though you do your best not to put too much stress on your body and to work safely,” says Stan. But despite this, Stan is already fantasizing about the possibilities of 2023. Who knows, he might work with his head in the wind for a few weeks more, even if there is no elevator.
Is a full-service company in wind energy that is involved in, among other things, the installation, disassembly, commissioning and maintenance work of wind turbines."
Business in Wind
Buys, disassembles, sells and installs wind turbines worldwide with the aim of giving as many wind turbines as possible a second life.