The VolturnUS, a US floating wind turbine
I almost never watch news on TV as I find them too depressing and too little focused on the topics that matter to me. So I prefer scanning a few newspapers, my Netvibes page and its many RSS feeds, and, of course, Twitter.
But my dear mom still watches the news and thus came across a short report on how the US State of Maine is investing on offshore wind. This took place just a few days after my own article on how the French Côte d’Opale should too.
To the University of Maine – which is currently testing a floating wind turbine – the State has an offshore wind capacity of no less than 156 GW. Quite an impressive figure.
Their turbine, called VolturnUS, brings several improvements over current models :
- it is floating, thus avoiding important installation costs ;
- it has three concrete hulls to keep it stable and to help it withstand storms ;
- it is made of composite materials that could last a century ;
The current model is just one-eighth of the size of the models that will be installed in the future. As The Bangor Daily News reported :
By 2030, the university hopes to install about 170 6-megawatt turbines, each taller than the Washington Monument, with blades longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 747. Each turbine would provide enough electricity to power about 2,000 homes.
On a national scale, the VolturnUS is the first offshore wind turbine to be connected the United States grid. This is quite an event. Now let’s hope many more will follow and join the current American wind energy revolution.