November 5, 2014

Windfarms underwater?

Science-Health-Wind turbines are often bemoaned for their unsightly appearance, noise and danger to local wildlife – but what if we put them underwater?

That’s exactly what Caithness-based company MeyGen, owned by Atlantis Resources Ltd, plan to do with their initial £51m ($82m) underwater turbine project. By the end of the year they plan to install turbines off the Scottish coast and they say the technology could be used as a more environmentally friendly source of green energy in future. It’s thought that harnessing its energetic waters could power up to a third of Scotland. The first turbines are set to be placed at the turn of the new year, with more being placed over the next few years. Unlike wind turbines, underwater turbines would never be ‘off’ as there is a constant flow of water. MeyGen’s turbines are slightly smaller than their land counterparts but generate a similar amount of electricity a year – about one megawatt – and the company plans to eventually build several hundred. This would be enough to power 175,000 homes. They rotate 12 to 14 times a minute, while compared to regular wind turbines they are slightly more ‘stubby’ with smaller blades.

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