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Companies Starting Rollout of Massive Offshore Turbines

Sinovel's 6-megawatt behemoth to be used in Shanghai offshore wind farm

1 min read
Companies Starting Rollout of Massive Offshore Turbines

As the U.S. offshore wind arena continues to be 100 percent turbine-free, companies around the world are scaling up. Chinese turbine manufacturer Sinovel announced its mammoth 6-megawatt turbine will be used in a demonstration project in Shanghai's port. It will install 17 of the turbines, so "demonstration" actually means a pretty large wind farm, with a capacity of 102 MW.

Going big seems like a good choice when it comes to offshore wind power, where there are fewer constraints on the space they use. Cape Wind notwithstanding, NIMBY issues are similarly diminished, even with such huge structures.

Sinovel's is not the only 6 MW turbine around, though few are actually in operation at offshore wind farms. REpower Systems, bought by wind giant Suzlon in 2009, has a 6 MW turbine as well, as does Siemens. Last year, we wrote here about the real giant of wind turbines, Vestas's 7-MW V-164. The V-164 will clock in at a height of 135 meters with a rotor blade measuring 80 meters long. DONG Energy has said it will install as many as six of the Vestas turbines off the coast of Denmark in 2013.

Most of these huge turbines are still in demonstration or pilot phases, with the companies planning to start full-scale production in the next couple of years. This is welcome timing, as countries around the world look to expand offshore wind development. Even in the U.S., things are getting ever closer: today, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will make an announcement in Baltimore involving an improved permitting process for offshore wind development in Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, and Virginia. The more power the merrier, so bring on the gargantuan turbines.

Image via Sinovel

The Conversation (0)
This photograph shows a car with the words “We Drive Solar” on the door, connected to a charging station. A windmill can be seen in the background.

The Dutch city of Utrecht is embracing vehicle-to-grid technology, an example of which is shown here—an EV connected to a bidirectional charger. The historic Rijn en Zon windmill provides a fitting background for this scene.

We Drive Solar

Hundreds of charging stations for electric vehicles dot Utrecht’s urban landscape in the Netherlands like little electric mushrooms. Unlike those you may have grown accustomed to seeing, many of these stations don’t just charge electric cars—they can also send power from vehicle batteries to the local utility grid for use by homes and businesses.

Debates over the feasibility and value of such vehicle-to-grid technology go back decades. Those arguments are not yet settled. But big automakers like Volkswagen, Nissan, and Hyundai have moved to produce the kinds of cars that can use such bidirectional chargers—alongside similar vehicle-to-home technology, whereby your car can power your house, say, during a blackout, as promoted by Ford with its new F-150 Lightning. Given the rapid uptake of electric vehicles, many people are thinking hard about how to make the best use of all that rolling battery power.

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