Offshore wind turbines are getting absolutely enormous. When this new V164-8.0 offshore wind turbine from Vestas is complete, it is set to be the world’s largest and most powerful. The giant structure will stand 443 feet (135 meters) and have a blade diameter of 538 feet (163 meters), with an astounding single blade length of 262 feet (80 meters). That’s substantially longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 747, or about 9 London double-decker buses.
This new turbine is being built to be able to harness the wind and withstand conditions in the wild North Sea, and it will be capable of generating an unprecedented 8 megawatts of power. That’s enough to power about 2000 homes from just one wind turbine. Many wind turbines today have a generating power of 5 megawatts.
Vestas does have competition in the clean energy race for even more powerful wind turbines. There is a onshore wind turbine from Enercon that is able to generate 7.58 megawatts, and apparently there are other turbines that will be capable of 10 megawatts in the pipeline.
This massive Vestas wind turbine is currently in development in Denmark, with the blades being assembled and tested on the Isle of Wight (below). The company is planning to have the new wind turbine in operation by 2014. The first blade is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
It’s not difficult to imagine turbines this size being installed in many locations around the world in coming years. No doubt many will be out of sight of land, so they’ll be no problem with annoying the neighbours in any way. How do you like the idea of your home one day being powered by clean energy one of these behemoths?
Images and video: Vestas