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The largest wind turbine in the world is the Enercon E-126, with a capacity of 8MW; that record has now been broken, and at a much lower cost.
The Norwegian technology firm, Sway Turbine, has developed a 10MW turbine that they have imaginatively called ST10. The turbine has been designed from the start to be used in offshore locations, with all efforts made to reduce the weight and the cost.
For example, low cost magnets were used to create the generator, about 35-40 percent cheaper than normal magnets, and 55-60 percent lighter. Over all, the giant turbine is expected to cost between 15 and 20 percent less than conventional offshore turbines.
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Because the turbine has been designed especially for offshore wind farms, the operational and maintenance costs over its 20 year lifecycle will be much lower than normal.
The first full scale prototype will be installed along the West coast of Norway and run for two whole years to give an indication as to how it operates under realistic conditions over a period of time.
Ingelise Arntsen, the CEO of Sway Turbines, revealed that they are currently looking for partners who can help them develop the ST10 further, and bring it to the market, with an estimated launch date set for 2015.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com