Floating Off-Shore Wind Rig Based on Oil Rig Technology

What are the three biggest problems with wind power? Anybody, anybody, Bueller?

1. Bird Kill, 2. NIMBYism and 3 Dead bugs gumming up the works. Now, I’m not saying that these are always legitimate concerns, but migration corridors should be avoided and some people just really don’t like the way wind turbines look. These are real problems, so we’ve got to find real solutions.

How about we put wind turbines in a place that is literally no one’s back yard, there are no bugs, and where birds only go to die. Namely, 50-100 miles off-shore. The big problem, of course, is that there’s no way to anchor wind turbines into the sea-floor if the sea-floor is 300 meters down (as it is when you get that far off shore.)

Why is why Norsk Hydro has been working on a prototype floating off-shore wind rig called the Hywind. Norsk Hydro’s off-shore wind expertise comes directly from their experience with off-shore oil rigs. And now that off-shore oil is less interesting to Norway, Norsk Hydro happily developing this awesome new technology.

A pilot project with three 3 MW turbines will be installed before the beginning of 2008. But future plans call for larger farms with hundreds of 5 MW turbines producing as much as 4 terrawatt hours per year, or roughly enough to power 200,000 households.

More pics after the jump.

Via Inhabitat and Norsk Hydro

See Also:
World’s Largest Offshore Wind Project
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