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Wind Turbines – Growing in Size

Positive Future #203 (Feature photo – Offshore Wind Turbines – Courtesy of L-BBE CCA 3.0 Unported) As it stands, General Electric builds the world’s largest wind turbine. Called the Haliade X, this monster has a rotor diameter of 721 feet. The rotor sits atop a tower that is almost 500 feet tall. The Halaide X has a power generating capacity of 12 MW (megawatts). At conservative use, 1 megawatt could power 1,330 homes. In theory a Halaide X could power 16,000 homes. Wind turbine manufacturers now have even larger wind turbines on the drawing board – up to 15 megawatts and with rotors that have diameters of over 850 feet…

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Understanding the Megawatt

Positive Future #58 (Feature photo – Offshore Wind Turbine – CCA SA 4.0 International) How many homes can 1 megawatt power? Estimates are around 750 homes. As wind turbine technology continues to evolve, economics is shaping the entry of larger and larger wind turbines. In 2010, the global megawatt rating on wind turbines was 1.6 megawatts – 1,200 homes. By 2022 that number will be around 2.8 megawatts – 2,100 homes. However, there are some big numbers coming from specialty wind turbines that are offshore. Large German offshore wind turbines are averaging 6 megawatts – 4,500 homes. Over the next six years, offshore turbines are expected to reach 12 megawatts…

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