This week is perfectly timed to start blogging about renewable energy innovations. Danish manufacturer of wind turbines, Vestas, just unveiled their newest and most powerful wind turbine. Now this turbine is not only the most powerful in Vestas’ production, but it is also the strongest wind turbine in the world. The new model is named the V236-15.0 MW and is specifically designed for installation in storm prone areas. I should clarify, that by storm I mean hurricane/typhoon strength storms. I think its clear to see why this is such an outstanding achievement. To be able to harness the power of something so destructive as a hurricane and utilize it for our collective benefit. This behemoth of a wind turbine posses three blades which are 115.5 meters long; for perspective an American football field of 100 yards is 91.44 meters long. While spinning the three blades cover an area equivalent to 10.6 acres.
Now, lets talk about the output of the world’s most powerful wind turbine. From Vestas’ own calculations, each turbine will be capable of producing 80 gigawatt hours of energy in a year. That amount is sufficient to power 20,000 homes. Also, the effects of not producing carbon emissions to create this energy is by itself a marvel. Each wind turbine has the capacity of removing 38,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. To provide some perspective on this. In 2017 Amazon’s entire fleet of delivery vehicles produced 19 million tons of carbon emission. Just 500 of these turbines built around the globe would offset the pollution created by our love of convenient shopping. Not to mention, 500 turbines would be able to power 10 million homes. Again, these numbers appear arbitrary so lets put it in perspective again. The entire state of Nevada totals 751 thousand households. The entire US population is 105 million people. This would mean that 500 turbines would be sufficient to power 1/10th of the US population while also offsetting the emissions from our insatiable need for next day delivery of play doh and reversable angry octopus plushies.
I’m not saying that this single turbine is going to be the solution to our energy problems going into the future, but what I am trying to point out are the possibilities for a greener and renewable future. The scalability is there, and this style of wind turbine could be a large piece of the puzzle moving forward. As we continue our conversation about renewables, we will explore more of the crucial pieces that I hope will one day make up our fully renewable energy grid.