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In the quest to harness the vast wind energy potential off the coast of Maine the first ever floating wind turbine in the USA is being tested by engineers at the University of Maine.
The turbine will be installed and become operational next summer, but will exist as a test before the real turbines, which will be about eight times the size, are manufactured and installed. The final turbines will be huge, with blades that stretch about 46m, vital in order to make the most of the wind energy available in an efficient manner.
Habib Dagher, the director of the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, said that there is “the equivalent of 150 nuclear power plants worth of wind blowing off the coast of Maine. It only takes two nuclear power plants to power the whole state, that’s how big that resource is.”
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One of the problems that often riles locals and creates protests and problems for the planners of offshore wind farms is the fact that they remain visible from the shore and can prove an eyesore to some people. The brilliance of the floating turbine means that they can be located in deep waters far beyond the sight of anyone on land. The wind farm off the coast of Maine will consist of more than 80 turbines which will be installed over 20 miles from the coast, well beyond the ground level horizon line.
Dagher explained that, “you will not be able to see them, you will not be able to hear them, so nobody will know they’re there essentially, but they’re out there creating clean, renewable energy to power our state.”
The project should be completed and operational by 2030.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com