A wind turbine with a rated capacity of 6.15 megawatts (MW)–the largest in the world–has been installed off the Belgian coast. Altogether, 48 wind turbines of this size and type will be installed to compose the Thornton Bank wind farm, and the same technology is already slated to be used in future wind farms off the coast of Germany.
Each rotor blade has a length of 63 metres, giving the turbine a total sweeping range 126 metres in diameter. A 40km undersea cable will connect the wind farm to the mainland electricity grid. Once complete, the total capacity of Thornton Bank will be 325MW, and supply enough electricity to power the equivalent of 200,000 homes per year.
The event has been hailed as a significant milestone for the wind power industry and the renewable energy industry in general. It is generally recognised that meeting the world’s energy needs using only renewable resources will only be possible through a strategic combination of energy efficiency, solar power, wind power, biomass, and geothermal power.
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