06/02/2013 Leave a comment
North America’s first offshore wind turbine has just been launched, a prototype for gathering data. The full size floating turbines will be nearly as tall as the Washington Memorial, and will be tethered 20 miles offshore where winds are stronger. Within 50 miles of the US shoreline there is enough wind energy to power the entire US several times over.
Developed at the University of Maine, the turbines will be made of composite material that won’t rust. They will be connected to an underwater power cable that will take power to thousands of homes.
The turbine, called Volturnus, will be competing for funding with Norwegian energy company Statoil that has already tested floating wind turbines in the North Sea. A turbine industry in Maine would create thousands of jobs and bring millions in private investment.