August 23, 2013 | 1
“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.“
~William Arthur Ward
When it was built in 2000, Middelgrunden (situated 3.5 km off Denmark’s coastline) was the largest offshore wind farm in the world. Today, its 20 turbines (40 MW) supply about 4% of Copenhagen’s electricity needs. Half of the turbines are owned by DONG energy, while the other half are owned by the Middelgrunden Wind Turbine Cooperative. This cooperative is comprised of a group of Danish wind energy enthusiasts who joined forces in 1996 to help make a dream of offshore wind for Copenhagen into reality.
Offshore wind typically comes with a much higher capital cost than onshore wind turbines. Some of this cost it due to the infrastructure needed to support the turbine. Also significant is the transmission investment needed to get the power from sea to land. But, these facilities can benefit from the enormous generation potential found in strong, unobstructed offshore wind.
Photo credit: Photo of the Middelgrunden wind farm off the coast of Denmark by andjohan via Creative Commons.