A gigantic wind turbine sits at Rotterdam Harbor in the Netherlands. It’s 853 feet (260 meters) high, more than twice as high as the tallest buildings in Grand Rapids. The blades are 351 feet long – longer than a football field. It has a maximum output of 12 megawatts – with the ability to power 16,000 households (keep in mind that when the wind isn’t blowing, it generates no power and a secondary, more reliable power source is necessary). Future turbines are projected to be taller than any building in Western Europe.
General Electric says the wind turbine has as much thrust as the 4 engines of a Boeing 747. The plan is to eventually install supersize turbines over the water of nearby oceans, where the wind is more constant. Specialized ships would be needed for offshore placement.
Another issue is the lifespan of wind turbines, which eventually wind up in giant landfills. I did not find an exact cost of this wind turbine, but it’s not cheap. The business unit called G.E. Renewable Energy is spending about $400 million just on design.