FAR out to sea is nirvana for wind energy generation. Here the winds blow stronger and the giant turbines are less of an eyesore. But how to keep them from toppling over in a gale? That is the challenge being tackled by a consortium of universities and private companies called DeepCwind.
The consortium will install a scaled-down prototype of a new design of wind turbine near Monhegan Island, Maine, in 2012. If all goes well, two years later a full-sized version with a capacity of 3 to 5 megawatts will be installed, probably much further out. This could pave the way for wind turbines moored in deep water off coastal cities.