The World’s First Floating Wind Turbine
Norwegian researchers have developed a floating turbine that can operate in waters deeper than 360 feet, enabling it to function virtually anywhere. The initial design was launched off the coast of Stavanger, an oil town located in southwestern Norway back in June.
Though the idea of offshore wind farms is nothing new, even as they’re being rolled out along coastlines, they’re limitations are already well documented. Current technologies and costs force turbines to be installed relatively close to shore in water depths ranging between 75 and 150 feet, as the structures are embedded securely into the earth. This static design coupled with the additional stresses of the ocean’s currents, require greater stability be manufactured into the offshore turbines, driving up expenses versus similar farms constructed on land. In spite of these financial deterrents, the potential for harnessing high winds on the open seas remains an attractive option.