LOCE Wind and Wave Energy Weblog

The web's first ocean and offshore wind energy weblog. Continuously renewed, like the ocean itself.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Super Turbines

This article, Dawn of the Super Turbines , The Scotsman, (9/19/03) reports on the increasing size and capacity of offshore wind farms. For example, consider the dimensions of this Danish project:

Denmark, wind farms are a ubiquitous feature of any journey through the countryside. It has recently completed and is now producing power from the world’s biggest offshore wind farm - Horns Reef. Sited ten miles off the south-west coast of the country, its 80 turbines cover 20 square kilometres, and it provides a perfect model to indicate the direction of Scotland’s future renewable energy projects - if ambitious Westminster government and Scottish Executive targets are to be met [...] The units at Horns Reef, built by Vestas, the world’s leading manufacturer of wind turbines, each have a two megawatt (MW) generating capacity, with a total combined output of 160MW. This is far in excess of the majority of the country’s turbines which have been erected over the past 20 years. When the Danes first began to put up turbines, they were not a tried and tested method of generating energy and, compared with today’s units, often woefully inefficient. Consequently, although Denmark generates 18 per cent of its electricity from wind - the largest percentage of the complete electricity generation of any country in the world - a large proportion of the turbines have a minuscule generating capacity compared to the turbines now being designed and tested at cutting-edge projects like Horns Reef.

But as the article points out, while large projects such as can offer a viable substitute to other energy sources such as nuclear, at the same time, when developers go offshore, there are additional costs associated with increased installation, service and maintenance. Companies are hoping that through new technologies, generating costs for offshore wind can be reduced by 10 per cent.


Post a Comment

<< Home