Each of the enormous turbines are skyscraper-sized, measuring over 640 feet, with 262-foot-long blades capable of generating 8 megawatts of power. That means that with a single revolution of these turbines’ blades, enough electricity is produced to power a house for 29 hours. Indeed, this is the first time that 8MW turbines have been applied for commercial purposes, but with efficiency like this, it seems like it may not be the last.
The new turbines are actually an extension of a previously built wind farm that first came into existence more than a decade ago. But apparently, these 32 turbines have more than twice the capacity of their predecessors. Dong Energy hopes that these latest offerings will herald a new future for offshore wind power, one that the Guardian describes as “bigger, better and, most importantly, cheaper.”
The U.K. has become an ideal environment for wind farms given the government’s subsidies, amiable regulations, and history at sea. As it stands, wind turbines in the U.K. have a total capacity of 5.3GW, which represents enough energy to power 4.3 million homes. Already, eight more projects are underway, which promise to add another 50 percent to that capacity again.
“This and other projects have been crucial for driving costs down for the whole industry,” said Benjamin Sykes, the country manager for Dong Energy UK, of the latest project.
Indeed, the company thinks this is just the beginning for wind energy, with turbines as powerful as 13MW or 15MW possible in the near future (for reference, most turbines in the U.K. right now are somewhere between just 3 and 3.6MW).
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