Several full-scale floating wind farms already operate in Europe and Asia. The future’s booming demand for batteries forges new global alliance Northern California has some of the strongest offshore winds in the U.S. giving it great potential to produce renewable energy. The are could generate 4.6 gigawatts, enough to power 1.6 million homes. The continental shelf drops off quickly, making it expensive and near impossible to install wind turbines. One solution is making the turbines float. Several full-scale floating wind farms are already operating in Europe and Asia. Northern California has some of the strongest offshore winds in the U.S., with immense potential to produce clean energy . But it has a problem. Its continental shelf drops off quickly, making building traditional wind turbines directly on the seafloor costly if not impossible. Once water gets more than about 200 feet deep – roughly the height of an 18-story building – these “monopile” structures are pretty much out of the question. A solution has emerged that’s being tested in several locations around the world: making wind turbines that float. In fact, in California, where drought is putting pressure on the hydropower supply and fires have threatened electricity imports from the […]

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