A comprehensive decision support tool for end-of-life wind turbines of Ireland; Lifetime Extension, Decommissioning, Repowering, Repurposing [WindLEDeRR]

Start Date


End Date


Funding Body

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland: National Energy Research Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme 2021


University College Dublin

Project Partners

Partner Applicant 

Breiffni Fitzgerald – Trinity College Dublin

Jamie Goggins – National University of Ireland Galway

Paul Leahy – University College Cork

Vesna Jaksic – Munster Technological University

Cian Desmond – Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions


Vikram Pakrashi – University College Dublin

Kieran Ruane – Munster Technological University 

Tomas Flanagan – Eirecomposites

Shane Holden – Bord na Mona

Principal Investigator

Asst. Prof. Abdollah Malekjafarian

Research Area

Materials & Structures


Wind turbines are normally designed for  20  years lifetime.  In  Ireland,  there will be a  significant number of onshore wind turbines reaching their end-of-life  (500  turbines by  2025  and  1000  by 2030).   There are generally three options for wind plants at end-of-life:   life extension, decommissioning and repowering. This project will develop a comprehensive decision-making tool for end-of-life wind turbines in Ireland through life assessment for the critical components of wind turbines including foundation,  tower and blades. A holistic structural dynamic models of wind turbines will be developed using a  multi-body approach that accounts for the aeroelastic behaviour of the wind turbines employing Irish meteorological conditions. Cutting-edge structural health monitoring techniques will be developed for lifetime extension of wind turbines. Novel approaches will be developed for anomaly detection and fatigue assessment of the tower structure through smart advanced identification methods. In addition, a new methodology will be developed for predicting the remaining fatigue life and residual strength of wind turbines’ blades periodically until their end of life. A lifecycle assessment of foundations will be developed which will provide a set of recommendations outlining options for the foundation to include remaining operational life. Furthermore, a range of energetic, environmental, social and economic factors will be considered in order to arrive at optimal solutions for sustainable decommissioning of end-of-life wind turbines in Ireland. Finally, a new protocol will be developed for repurposing decommissioned blades for specific purposes.  The results will form the most authoritative evidence base around the topic for Ireland and will be an international benchmark.


The main aim of the WindLEDeRR is to develop technologies leading to a comprehensive decision support tool for end-of-life wind turbines in Ireland.

Work Packages

  1. Fully coupled dynamic aero-elastic-servo-soil model of HAWT (led by TCD)
  2. Structural health and lifetime monitoring methodologies (led by UCD)
  3. Development of end-of-life structural prediction models for wind blades (led by NUIG)
  4. Foundation inspection and lifecycle assessment (led by GDG)
  5. Multifactorial Decommissioning Decision Support Framework (led by UCC)
  6. Repurposing of decommissioned wind turbine blades (led by MTU)
  7. Project management and dissemination (led by UCD)

Funding Body