Researchers at the University of Maine launched the first offshore floating wind machine last Friday to capture wind energy, the New York Times reported. The project is one of seven sponsored by the Energy Department under a $168 million program.
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“The tower, launched in Brewer, Me., sits on three hollow concrete tubes and will be anchored in the Gulf of Maine. It is a mere 20 kilowatts in capacity, an amount of power that could be soaked up by a handful of big suburban houses on a hot summer day.”
“Onshore wind machines produce most of their energy at night, when it is least valuable to utilities buying the power, but this one will catch the predictable, strong breezes that come up every sunny summer afternoon.”
“Over a year, onshore machines in the Eastern United States produce only about a third as much electricity as would result if they ran at full tilt every hour of the year, but this one will produce 40 percent to 50 percent as much, he said, because winds offshore are stronger.”