New York approves nation’s largest offshore wind farm

January 26, 2017 by  
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It’s official – New York just gave the green light for the nation’s largest offshore wind farm. The new South Fork Wind Farm will generate 90 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity from 15 turbines — enough energy to power more than 50,000 homes. Offshore developer Deepwater Wind, fresh off its successful completion of the Block Island Wind Farm in Rhode Island, won the contract to install the turbines 30 miles southeast of Montauk. The turbines will be connected to a substation in East Hampton by a 50-mile undersea cable. The Long Island Power Authority voted Wednesday to move forward with the state’s first commercial offshore wind development. The project is the second in the US after the 30-megawatt, 5-turbine Block Island Wind Farm – which began operating off the coast of Rhode Island six weeks ago. “New York leads the nation in pioneering clean energy innovation, and this bold action marks the next step in our unprecedented commitment to offshore wind, as well as our ambitious long-term energy goal of supplying half of all electricity from renewable sources by 2030,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement . “This project will not only provide a new, reliable source of clean energy, but will also create high-paying jobs, continue our efforts to combat climate change and help preserve our environment for current and future generations of New Yorkers.” Related: America’s first offshore wind farm is now powering 17,000 homes In his State of the State address in Albany earlier this month, the governor pledged to build 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030 – enough to power 1.25 million homes. The $740 million project on the eastern end of Long Island is the first step in developing the 256-square-mile area that could potentially contain as many as 200 wind turbines generating up to 1,000 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is working on an Offshore Wind Master Plan to be released this year that will identify additional New York coastal areas where offshore wind can be developed. “Offshore wind needs to be a significant part of the energy mix. It is key to putting the Empire State on a path toward an economy powered entirely by renewable energy,” Heather Leibowitz, director of Environment New York, said in a statement. “The 90-megawatts of energy produced off east Montauk will get us one step closer to this goal.” + South Fork Wind Farm Via Environment New York Images via UK Department of Energy and Climate Change , Vattenfall

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New York approves nation’s largest offshore wind farm

Obama administration aims for 86 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2050

September 12, 2016 by  
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Could the Atlantic and Pacific coastlines of the United States one day look like the North Sea with thousands of wind turbines generating gigawatts of clean, renewable electricity? The US has a long way to go to catch up with Europe’s nearly 12 GW of installed offshore wind capacity. But if the Obama administration’s new offshore wind plan is fully implemented, by 2050 the US would blow Europe’s current capacity out of the water with 86 gigawatts of offshore wind — enough emissions-free electricity to power more than 23 million homes. The report states that there is a “technical potential” of an astounding 2,058 GW of offshore wind in US waters – enough to provide nearly double the total electric generation of the entire country. The National Offshore Wind Strategy – part of the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan – builds on the momentum of the country’s first offshore wind farm , which was completed last month. The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island will soon be generating 30 megawatts of electricity from five turbines – enough to power 17,000 homes. US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Interior Secretary Sally Jewell visited the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Wind Technology Testing Center in Boston on Friday to announce that the federal government will be increasing efforts to develop offshore wind as part of the administration’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris climate agreement. Related: European wind energy is now cheaper than nuclear power “Today’s collaborative strategic plan is part of a long-term commitment to support innovation that enables widespread offshore wind deployment and shows how offshore wind will benefit our country with new jobs, less pollution, and a more diversified electricity mix,” Moniz said in a statement. According to the report, fully implementing the offshore wind plan would support 160,000 jobs, reduce power sector water consumption by 5 percent and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 percent. Generating 86 GW of offshore wind by 2050 would also make up 14 percent of the projected demand for new electricity generation in the coastal and Great Lakes states. Last year, the Interior department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management awarded 11 commercial leases for offshore wind development off the Atlantic coast. There are also plans for the nation’s first freshwater offshore wind farm in Lake Erie near Cleveland, and offshore wind is currently being considered for California and Hawaii. Mitigating climate change and reducing air pollution aren’t the only benefits of offshore wind. According to Stanford University Professor Mark Jacobson, founder of The Solutions Project, a plan to power the world with 100 percent renewable energy, offshore wind farms can potentially weaken hurricane winds and reduce storm surge. + National Offshore Wind Strategy Via Grist Images via Ad Meskens and Wikimedia

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Obama administration aims for 86 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2050

The worlds largest floating wind farm is planned for the California coast

August 4, 2016 by  
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The world’s largest and America’s first major offshore wind farm is planned to open in 2021 off the coast of California. One hundred floating turbines will produce 765 megawatts of energy, leaving the 630 MW London Array in the dust. The system commissioned by Trident Winds is expected to power over 200,000 homes. The Morro Bay Offshore project will be located off the shore of Pt. Estero, California, 33 miles from the coast. Floating platforms supporting the turbines will be anchored to the seabed 2,600 to 3,300 feet under the water. The fastest coastal winds in the U.S. are located too far off shore for traditional undersea platforms, which use concrete or steel pilings. Floating platforms are an innovative solution only currently used in test projects. Related: Massive turbines and blades for America’s first offshore wind farm land in Rhode Island While cheaper to install, the amount of steel used and longer power cables needed to reach shore bring the price per megawatt from $4 million to $9 million with the floating platform project. If the wind farm is ever decommissioned, however, all of the materials could be brought back ashore instead of being left to litter the seabed. There is some concern that the Morro Bay Offshore project could encounter particularly turbulent seas or the cables could even interfere with multiple whale species who migrate there. Trident Winds is plowing forward, however, with a four-year plan to start producing wind power by 2025. As technology improves, the growing pains of cost and negative impact on the environment should decrease. + Trident Winds Via New Atlas Images via Wikipedia , Flickr

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The worlds largest floating wind farm is planned for the California coast

IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing

August 4, 2016 by  
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IBM researchers in Switzerland have created an artificial neuron that behaves just like the real thing . For the first time in history, artificial phase-change neurons have been grouped together (in a population of 500 synthesized in a lab) to process a neurological signal in more or less the same way that biological neurons transmit messages. They can be made exceptionally small and are similar in power and energy usage to biological neurons, and can even produce results with random variations, also just like biological neurons. For non-scientists, the importance of this discovery may not be immediately apparent. IBM ’s artificial neuron , developed by a research team in Zurich, is quite literally the next best thing to a naturally created biological neuron. The lab-created version has all the same components of a biological neuron, including inputs (dendrites), a neuronal membrane (lipid bilayer) around the spike generator (soma, nucleus), and an output (axon). Likewise, its functions mimic those of its biological counterpart. Related: Scientists create the world’s first enzymes using synthetic biology In addition to all that, the artificial neurons are durable, made from well-known materials that can withstand trillions of switching cycles. They are tiny (around 90 nanometers) and researchers believe they can make them even smaller, possibly as minuscule as 14nm. The researchers started by creating 500 artificial neurons together in a chain capable of sending signals, which means the IBM team has created the closest artificial version of a biological neuron. In the next phase of research, the team will create a much larger population of artificial neurons, with thousands of individual units, and write software to push their capabilities to the limit. The study results were published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. Via Ars Technica Images via IBM

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IBM creates first-ever artificial neurons that behave like the real thing

World’s largest and cheapest offshore wind farm will power 1m homes

July 11, 2016 by  
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The Netherlands may become home to the world’s cheapest offshore wind farm in as little as 10 years, according to the nation’s government. Plans for a 700 MW wind farm are coming together and, after considering 38 bids from developers, the cost of the Borssele offshore wind farm is now estimated to run $2.9 billion less than originally thought. Additionally, the wind farm will have a higher output, producing 22.5 percent more electricity than anticipated. Embed from Getty Images The Borselle wind farm under discussion actually represents two sites that will together generate clean energy nearly 14 miles off the coast of Zeeland province. Eventually, the Borssele project will be expanded to encompass five separate sites, the last of which will be a smaller experimental farm used to test new wind energy technology. With Sites I and II coming in at such a savings, in part thanks to government subsidies, it’s possible the timeline for the other sites will be expedited. Related: Colorful noise pollution barriers that also generate solar energy being tested in the Netherlands “Worldwide, it has never happened before that an offshore wind farm can be built at such low cost,” said Henk Kamp, Netherlands’ minister of economic affairs. “The Dutch system in which companies have to compete with each other while the government regulates all conditions for building the wind farm has proved to be very successful. This reduction of cost represents a major breakthrough in the transition to more sustainable energy .” With the wind farm comes clean energy for nearly one million homes, expanding to five million once the remaining wind farms are built. The Borssele wind farm will also create around 10,000 jobs, as well as other economic benefits for the nearby communities. These wind farm projects are part of the country’s larger strategy to increase offshore wind energy generation capacity from the existing 1,000 MW to a grand total of 4,500 MW, which contributes to the national goal of 16 percent renewable energy by 2023. Currently, the world’s largest offshore wind farm is the 630 MW London Array project , but the Borssele wind farm is expected to win that title upon its completion, with 700 MW. Via Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs Lead image via Shutterstock

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World’s largest and cheapest offshore wind farm will power 1m homes

Cleveland offshore wind farm project awarded $40 million DOE grant

June 28, 2016 by  
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Could the Rust Belt turn into the Wind Belt? The Great Lakes represent 20 percent of the United States’ total offshore wind energy capacity, but not a single wind turbine has yet to be seen. That could start to change soon thanks to a $40 million grant from the Department of Energy for North America’s first offshore freshwater wind farm, located on Lake Erie about eight to 10 miles northwest of downtown Cleveland, Ohio. The funding was awarded to Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) for its “Icebreaker” project that will consist of six 3.45 megawatt turbines (20.7 MW). “Lake Erie is the Saudi Arabia of wind, and today’s award should be a gusher for northern Ohio,” Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-09) said in a recent statement . “This wind power project will begin to unleash Lake Erie’s full renewable power potential and contribute to creating a more competitive energy marketplace. LEEDCo’s innovative vision can help transform energy production and distribution for northern Ohio’s residents and thousands of businesses. Because Lake Erie serves both the U.S. and Canada this development also harkens toward a future that could link Ohio and Ontario in a new energy partnership.” Related: The world’s largest floating wind farm will be operational next year Acccording to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, LEEDCo’s decision to adopt the European-designed “Mono Bucket” foundation, which “eliminates pile driving in the bedrock below the lake bed,” might have played a role in DOE’s decision to fully fund the project. The total cost of the project is estimated to be around $120 million. In addition to previous federal grants totalling $10 million, Fred Olsen Renewables, the largest independent power producer in the United Kingdom, is expected to raise the remaining $70 million. The nation’s first offshore wind farm is on schedule for completion later this year. The Block Island Wind Farm is located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Rhode Island. The 30-megawatt, five-turbine project is expected to produce more than 125,000 megawatt hours annually. The Lake Erie offshore wind farm is expected to be completed and operational by the end of 2018. + Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation Via Renewable Energy World Images via Flickr and Wikimedia

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Cleveland offshore wind farm project awarded $40 million DOE grant

Spectacular triangular mountain cabin designed for the edge of a cliff

June 28, 2016 by  
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The most important thing to know about the Triangle Cliff House design is that it wasn’t created for a client. Arndt’s firm Lichtect runs a bi-monthly design challenge, and this concept is Arndt’s personal response to the prompt requiring a home design for a fictional cliff. The artist went for the gusto with a structure that straddles the cliff’s edge, creating an amazing view from the lower level with floor-to-ceiling windows that gape out over a gorgeous mountain lake nestled in the valley below. Related: The Slice by Saunders Architecture is a tiny cabin built around two existing plum trees With windows on three sides, the Triangle Cliff House would offer inhabitants a wide selection of vistas. So, if one tired of looking down into the ravine, a view of the greenery along the ridgeline would be waiting through an adjacent window. It is hard to imagine a scenario in which the cliff face would become unappealing, though, especially with the addition of a thin balcony along the cliff’s edge, protected by a waist-high glass wall. The renderings only show off the exterior design of the building, leaving the interior layout and fittings to the imagination. The structure appears to be designed as a two- or three-story dwelling with a rather open floor plan. The lower level contains at minimum a sitting area and a kitchen, with an open staircase cutting through the space and leading to the upper floor. + Matthias Arndt Via Lost at E Minor Images via Matthias Arndt/Lichtect

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Spectacular triangular mountain cabin designed for the edge of a cliff

The world’s largest floating wind farm will be operational next year

May 20, 2016 by  
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Norwegian company Statoil is building the world’s largest offshore floating wind farm near Scotland – and it’s set to start producing energy as early as 2017. The Hywind Scotland Pilot Park wind farm will feature five turbines generating six megawatts of power each.

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The world’s largest floating wind farm will be operational next year

America’s first offshore wind farm to be completed by the end of this year

March 24, 2016 by  
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Known to Americans of the makers of appliances like refrigerators, General Electric (GE) is currently collaborating with clean energy company Deepwater Wind on an innovative new project: America’s first offshore wind farm, located south of Rhode Island near Block Island. The companies announced that they plan to finish the wind farm this year . Read the rest of America’s first offshore wind farm to be completed by the end of this year

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NASA captures early explosion of massive supernova for the first time ever

March 24, 2016 by  
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NASA ’s Kepler telescope managed to record, for the first time ever, the early shockwave of an exploding star , thanks to a super fortunate bit of luck. The light captures, reconstructed into ‘footage,’ reveal the bright “shock breakout” that occurred in the early part of the supernova event of a massive star roughly 500 times the size of our sun and around 1.2 billion light years away. Scientists found it while searching Kepler’s collections of light from 500 different galaxies. Read the rest of NASA captures early explosion of massive supernova for the first time ever

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NASA captures early explosion of massive supernova for the first time ever

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