What could be the future of wind energy is now floating off the coast of Scotland, the world’s first wind farm. With large turbines up to 830 ft tall, securely kept upright by three suction anchors with 111 tons of weight in each anchor. These turbines were assembled in Norway with partnership with U.A.E’s MASDAR.
How does it work? Once the turbines stand upright, cables extend from the turbines to the energy grid of the town for power transfer, and the power is stored in lithium batteries when not being used. Each turbine has the capability of producing 6 megawatts of energy which gives it the ability to power up to 20,000 homes.
The objective of this particular project was to initiate a movement towards studying the functions of the turbines, learning from them, and increasing their efficiency in order to have better reliability on renewable energy in the future. Renewable energy is currently powering more than half of Scotland, and the government is on a mission to increase that. Although cheaper than land turbines, producing floating turbines is still quite expensive - costing up to 263 million dollars to install the 5 turbines, which was heavily funded by the government.
The world’s current power record is 9.5 megawatts, however the increase in efficiency has allowed for plans to build turbines capable of generating up to 12 megawatts of power. The same company (although it has no plans to build as of now) is eyeing places such as California, Japan, and Hawaii as possible future locations for such turbines to be set up.