America’s First Floating Wind Turbine – the Future of Offshore Power Generation?

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  1. Alexander Croke says:

    How does power get to shore? Wire cables on sea floor?


  2. john says:

    Did they get the Kennedy’s approval???


  3. charlie says:

    Won’t this present a hazard to ships/boats in the area?
    How many birds will be killed by the many, very large blades?
    What is the expected cost to set such a program in operation?
    Will the average person benefit from these windmills after the cost of building them, putting them in place and then operating them?


  4. Wil says:

    Good, that’s what is needed, the innovation to make renewables more feasible. Have some patience, we will get there in time.


  5. Fred says:

    How do they get the power back on land? 20mi underwater cable is expensive, and in the storm, if the turbine braks free from the mooring it will rip the cable right off. I know it works, there is a lot of them offshore in GB, I am just curious.


  6. Joanna says:

    Will they be able to turn these around to blow hurricanes back out to sea?


  7. Marco Ventresca says:

    I hope it really works and like John said did the Kennedy’s OK this project ??????????


  8. Jerry says:

    Does this windmill pose a threat to migrating birds? The article makes no mention of this detail.


  9. Dennis S Winningstad says:

    I wonder what the effect on weather is when you remove a bunch of energy from the winds?


  10. Gene says:

    In Maine it’s likley the Bushes who’ll be concerned – the Kennedys handle Massachussetts –


  11. Slick Rick says:

    Perfect spot for this would be of the coast of Martha’s Vineyard so that the Democratic Politician Blow Hards could really appreciate wind energy!


  12. glarryc says:

    Great idea, until Animal Rights activists complain about the seagulls, and other fowl that are losing their lives in the blades of these ‘man-made-monsters’. Just like the condors and eagles that died after ‘hitting the fan’ in California!


  13. frank says:

    Like I said many many times what’s all this b.s. about cost of electricity. The cost of electricity has come down since the first electricity utilities began over a hundred years ago and everybody keeps telling us if we don’t keep useing dirty filthy coal the whole world will go into immediate recession The problem with that theory is that they said the same thing when oil went over $10 a barrel. The PROPER cost of electricity is the cost WITHOUT causeing massive any environmental damage Bring on the green power any way they can. Frank


  14. Marty Biancuzzo says:

    Alexander & Fred:

    Electricity generated from VolturnUS flows through an undersea cable straight over to Central Maine Power’s electric grid. It’s actually the first grid-connected offshore wind turbine in the U.S.


  15. Marty Biancuzzo says:

    John & Marco:

    Gene is right – The Kennedy’s are in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, with a presence in Nantucket too.

    A fun fact though, the residing President of the University of Maine during the time this grant research began was a man by the name, Dr. Robert A. Kennedy – no relation.

    But you both are right – the Kennedy’s would certainly appose offshore wind farms. They put up a huge fuss over the project that was proposed 12-years ago for the Nantucket Sound. The late Sen. Ted Kennedy was a huge opponent of the idea. In 2010 Obama approved the project despite a major effort by the Kennedy’s to squash the farm’s construction. Nantucket Locals joined the fight helping delay it until they finally began work at the end of June this year.

    It’s called Cape Wind and will consist of 130 turbines across 24 square miles in the Sound – providing up to 468 megawatts of power, about the same as a modest-sized natural gas power plant.


  16. Marty Biancuzzo says:

    Jerry, Charlie & GlarryC:

    HUGE issue for wildlife lobbyists and activists!

    They consider wind turbines to be the ultimate hypocrisy. “Green Energy” by definition is “environmentally friendly.” But when you add up all the wildlife deaths caused by turbines, they turn out to be far from it…

    Wind turbines have killed condors and eagles like GlarryC mentioned… They’ve killed more than 50 Golden Eagles since 2009 in Wyoming alone… and recently there was that incident in the U.K. where a White-Throated Needletail – a bird that had not been spotted in roughly 22-years – was killed by a wind turbine in front of a large crowd of birdwatchers.

    Considering UMaine plans on having 170 VolturnUS turbines – each taller than the Washington Monument, with blades longer than the wingspan of a Boeing 747 – installed by 2030, you can imagine just how horrified the activists are.

    And as it stands, there are no penalties for green energy deaths. There are oil spill fines and animal electrocution fines… but no turbine fines. Keep in mind, the Golden Eagle is a nationally protected bird. Charges in Wyoming were brought up against their deaths, but the case was quickly dismissed a few months later.

    And we’re just talking birds here. floating wind turbines are currently being studied for their affects on underwater ecosystems. The low pressure zones that form around the turbines causes an effect known as “upwelling” where water from the sea floor is pulled up to the surface. Researchers believe it’s negatively impacting the migration of lobster larvae. Those results should be in sometime soon.


  17. Frankie Diaz says:

    Nice idea.

    Now, is this thing going to be financed with Federal & State subsidies, or is it supposed to be privately funded by investors? If the former, another stupid sacred cow; slaughter the poor thing and use the resources for something more useful.

    If the latter, what’s the expected return-on-investment and how many centuries until payback?


  18. John McMurtry says:

    Why not use vertical axis turbines which, if set up in the correct configuration, are much more efficient?


  19. Max says:

    If the same research was put in to increasing efficiency of solar cells to 90% instead of making propellers bigger and bigger the world would be on to something. But that’s why mech eng was always easier then chem eng.


  20. J Howard says:

    What a waste of resources! As was noted, a single natural gas powered plant would produce as much or more energy. And leave a much smaller footprint on our environment.


  21. oldgringo says:

    Nothing in the energy fields is done to the benifit of the American people…Here in Colorado we have discovered an abundance of Natural Gas…Our energy bills have not gone down and neither has the cost of propane…The Alaskan pipeline nor the oil extracted in recent finds will not lower our energy prices either…All will be sold off to foreign countries while we allow our natural resources to be plundered to the highest bidder…It’s a game played by charlatans and the elite espousers of the new world order.


  22. Homer R. Hansen says:

    Concerns about birds killed by windpower windmills is not just compassion for wildlife. Birds eat insects. Insects eat crops. No birds, many more insects, much lower crop production. Where are all the people who think of consequences when we need them?


  23. walter77777 says:

    About how to bring the power to land: It may be a feasible idea to use the electricity generated to break the seawater molecules to pipe the hydrogen to land where it may be burned to provide power. By putting the piping for this under the water where the water pressure will keep the hydrogen under the same high pressure the possibility for explosion will be very low.

    The hydrogen burned onshore to make power wil be teh least polluting fuel we can burn since it will make foronly one byproduct of the combustion — water.



  24. sarah spiering says:

    We should concentrate on Fracking It’s been proven to be safe & very efficient & cost productive ,we have huge amount’s of Oil in the USA & plenty of clean coal mines.It seem’s to me that would be the way to go right now.


  25. Fred says:

    To JOHN MCMURTRY — They don’t even have to be very efficient, they are cheap to make. I had drawings to make them, all you need is empty steel drums. You cut them in half on vertical plane, and mount them on a shaft, in the same way as the half-globes on wind speed gauge (anemometer). Problems with that are – nobody will give you building permit for those, you need a wire cage around them, as they are close to ground and will kill people, not only birds (they are close to the ground). Actually, with wire screen cage they are are safe for wildlife too. But ballancing them may be way out of reach of average home mechanic


  26. Fred says:

    MAX — you are repeating same fairy tale as the old “200miles/gallon carburator” story.
    P-LEASE, Sun delivers approxcimately 600w of power (0.6kW) per square meter (~10 sq. feet). Even with 100% efficient cells you can’t get past that limit. You can’t draw more power than is available.


  27. Fred says:

    J HOWARD — They are being built and convereted everywhere. And a small start up company dveloped a converted engine for natural gas (a whole engine is made specially for natural gas, it’s not just a conversion kit). It has 80% parts from conventional engines.


  28. Bud says:

    A perfect example of atomistic thinking and unintended consequences. Self-fulfilling mal-investments? Offshore wind turbines result in human-caused global warming by producing more clouds and water vapor, no doubt with the benefit of substantial government grants based on the proven false assumption that CO2 is pollution. Don’t believe that off shore wind turbines produce clouds? Just look at the photo in the previous MIT presentation (Emerging Tech #3: Bio-Turbines.) Don’t believe that clouds and water vapor are THE greatest contributor to greenhouse warming? Read the UN IPCC reports, or NASA, or any number of other climate sources. Just because it can be built does not mean that it should be built.


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