High wind news

22Jan12

I read today that the next generation of ‘super’ wind turbines could be one thousand feet high at their highest arc. The sweep of the blades would be eight hundred feet in diameter – bigger than the London Eye.

The monster turbines would be located offshore, which is where the wind is.

I imagine that they would be beautiful in the same way that an elegant bridge or soaring spire can catch the eye. They would certainly be more graceful than the gas platforms that I can see when I stand at the top of the cliffs above my local beach.

I live about six miles from the coast. My geometry isn’t brilliant, but I have just worked out that if an array of giant turbines was built five miles offshore at the nearest point to my home I would be able to see the tops of the blades – if my eyesight was better or if the tip of the blade carried a red light.

Even if such huge turbines don’t turn out to be environmentally worthwhile, they would make a fantastic art installation.

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4 Responses to “High wind news”

  1. 1 Fiona

    I personally believe that if the wind turbines in Scotland were grey or brown rather than the stark wghite that we have they would make much less of a visual impact, blending in with the landscape. We have serious amounts of landscape which can not be seen by the vast majority of the public and a huge untapped resource as the wind is channeled down highland glens.
    The landscape as it is now is man made – the original forests were removed to make way for sheep in the last 300 years. This was seen as progress by the land owners now and gave very little back.
    If we put turbines on it would allow us to produce cheap energy which could be sold at lower prices, thus giving back to the people affected by the change.
    Seems like a win / win situation to me 🙂

    • Fiona – I always thought that wind turbines where white to make them visible to birds and microlights etc. But trees are brown and green and birds and microlights etc don’t fly into them very often, so perhaps the colour is not important. Electricity pylons are grey and we will need a lot more of these to carry the power from the mega-turbines…

  2. Can’t help but feel we should be looking at tidal power rather than wind power in the UK. We’re not short of coast line, the kinetic energy of water is far higher than that of wind and, most importantly, we can predict the tides for the next few hundred years.

    • Drew – I agree re tidal power. I have seen a large tidal power station, it was not as pretty as a wind turbine, but it worked well even when there was no wind and it was dark. I seem to recall that there were some small wind turbines at one end of the tidal barrier though… belt and braces?


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