Megan Treacy for TreeHugger: We've seen our share of interesting wind power designs, but often the technology can't come anywhere close to matching what the traditional horizontal axis wind turbines can do. There's a reason that when we think of wind energy, we think of giant masts with rotating blades and it's because that design is incredibly effective -- just look at Scotland and other areas around the world that now get a majority of their electricity needs from wind power.
The design isn't without its flaws; those rotating blades do pose a hazard to birds and bats and the cost of manufacturing and installing all of those giant parts can be expensive. When it comes to offshore wind power in the U.S., that has been a major roadblock. The energy generation potential is huge, but so is the cost.
An energy start-up company called Accio Energy -- yes, a Harry Potter reference -- thinks it has a solution to that problem, one that will generate as much if not more energy from offshore wind than a traditional wind turbine, but at half the cost. There are no moving parts, instead Accio's technology consists of large permeable panels on masts that let the ocean winds blow right through. Cont'd...
Yaskawa - Solectria Solar Industry Leading PV Inverters Deployed in Vermont's First Municipality-Owned Solar Systems
Avery Thompson for Popular Mechanics: The world's largest solar power plant has just been completed in Kamuthi, in Tamil Nadu, India. The new plant adds 648 MW to the country's generating capacity.
The Kamuthi Solar Power Project takes the title of world's largest solar plant from the Topaz Solar Farm in California, which was completed two years ago and has a capacity of 550 MW.
The Kamuthi Solar Power Project was built in only 8 months, and cost $679 million to complete. It contains 2.5 million individual solar panels, covers an area of almost 4 square miles, and is expected to power 150,000 homes. Cont'd...
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