Bigger Is Better: Gigantic Wind Turbine Installed in Germany

One of the largest wind turbines the world has ever seen is currently being assembled in northern Germany. It is just a test, but soon, the monsters may become a major component of offshore wind parks.

When it comes to wind turbines, bigger is better. That, at least, is what the German company REpower is hoping. The company this week is planning to erect one of the biggest wind turbines in the world in the very north of Germany. It's just a test, but should everything go according to plan, gigantic windmills may soon dot the waters off the German coast.

A new gigantic wind turbine is currently being installed in northern Germany.
DER SPIEGEL

A new gigantic wind turbine is currently being installed in northern Germany.

The hard part is getting it there. Once it is erected, the enormous rotor blades will reach a height of 155 meters (510 feet), meaning that the facility, even when broken down into its component parts, is too large to be transported by land. Instead, it is being moved by ship from the port city of Bremerhaven to its new home in Westre, near Germany's border with Denmark.

Once it is up and running, the titan will produce six megawatts of power, enough to provide electricity to 5,769 households. Its rotors will only begin turning at wind speeds of 12.6 kilometers per hour (7.8 miles per hour) or more. At wind speeds exceeding 90 kilometers per hour (56 miles an hour), the blades automatically stop turning and move into a safety setting in which they rotate to let wind pass. REpower plans to erect two more such wind turbines in the Westre wind park before Easter.

If all goes well, the first of the steel giants will be standing by the end of the week. Its first test runs will take place on land but the power generator, which is salt water-proof and built to endure major storms, is intended for offshore wind farms.

Germany has placed great stock in the development of offshore wind parks in its effort to radically increase reliance on renewable energies. There are currently plans for dozens of offshore wind parks in both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea, but the recent financial crisis has slowed development.

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