News from Norway last week brought plans for the world's largest wind turbine to be built.
According the the announcement, Norwegian-based wind turbine manufacturer Sway will build a 10-megawatt wind turbine. Construction of the turbine will be financed by Enova, a Norwegian public agency, which has committed approximately US$23 million to build the turbine.
Sway will build the turbine with the hopes of moving towards building turbines with fewer moving parts as well as the use of a gearless generator system.
Sway hopes its new technology will result in more efficient off-shore wind turbines. Standing over 500 feet tall, the mammoth turbine could supply power to nearly 2,000 homes. The prototype is set to cost a whopping US$67.5 million.
"There are many smart concepts aimed at exploiting the renewable energy potential along the coast and offshore. The goal of the program is to demonstrate and introduce innovative new energy solutions to the market by showcasing projects which can help qualify the technology in the form of energy results and operational experience," says Nils Kristian Nakstad, Enova's executive director.
The only drawback? It will take two years for testing to be completed on the prototype planned on land in Oeygarden, southwestern Norway. Nonetheless, it will provide ample time for success and will be sure to catch the attention of other manufacturer's who I expect will be quick to respond.
“It is milestone in the efforts to develop the future’s wind power,” Norway’s energy minister Terje Riis-Johansen said in a statement.
Indeed, the project could lead to larger turbines in the near future. Larger turbines usually mean more power - which is simply lacking in some designs below 1 MW. Wind energy critics often point to wind's small power penetration in the overall electricity portfolio, citing that it too heavily relies upon other energy sources. Projects like Sway's begin to tell another story: an onshore or offshore wind farm of over one hundred 10 MW turbines - well you do the math.
Image courtesy of phault
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