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.
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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