Friday, June 26, 2009

There She Blows!

Here in Cleveland, heated discussions continue about wind turbines on Lake Erie. Now, for the record, the term “windy city” isn’t used to describe weather patterns…it is referred to politics in how people sway from being Republicans to Democrats and back to Republicans. And that is just what this is about – politics – especially when discussing, funding and building up alternative energy in metropolitan areas. While many people are in favor of wind and solar technology, many have the mindset of, “Sure, but not in my backyard.”

Yes, turbines are not quiet. They potential kill birds (if they are stupid enough to fly into them). However, what people are failing to consider is the notion of floating turbines. Floating turbines have a number of advantages compared to traditional offshore wind power; they don't block the views of coastal residents, they don't have to deal with shoreline construction restrictions due to animal habitat concerns, and winds are both stronger and more consistent further off the coast/lake.

According to FastCompany, they reported out incredible news about StatoilHydro and Siemens whom finally installed the world's first large-scale floating wind turbine off the coast of Karmoy, Norway. The 2.3 MW Hywind, built at a depth of 722 feet, will be tested over the next two years. The ballast extends 328 feet below the surface, where it is fastened to the seabed with three anchor wires and attached to the mainland grid via cables extending to shore.

Well, we will just have to wait and see how long it takes Cleveland to transition into being an adopter of this technology. Many understand that Cleveland is not an innovative town, yet simply being an adopter would be a step up from today’s current state.

Go Turbines! Go Sustaino! Were you a hero today?

Image Source: Fast Company

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