Japanâ€™s 7 megawatt Offshore Hydraulic Drive Turbine stands at 344 feet (about 40 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty) and features three 262 feet-long blades and a rotor diameter of 538 feet. Significantly, the structure is located about 12 miles off the coast of Fukushima, an area infamously wrecked in 2011 by a powerful earthquake and tsunami that caused a catastrophic meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
The project isÂ built and operated by the Fukushima Wind Offshore Consortium, which has already installed a 2 megawatt wind turbine in November 2013. The organization boasts that their structures can shoulder the brunt of extreme weather. (Inclement weather was certainly a problem during construction of the massive turbine, as engineers had to stall installation four times due to typhoons).
â€œThese turbines and anchors are designed to withstand 65-foot waves,â€ Katsunobu Shimizu, one of the chief engineers, told NBC News. â€œAlso, here we can get 32-foot-tall tsunamis. Thatâ€™s why the chains are deliberately slackened,â€ in reference to the loose chains that connect the structure to the seabed and fortify it against large waves. The turbine is also fastened to the seabed by four 20-ton anchors, UPI reported.
â€” NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 3, 2015
As EcoWatch mentioned previously, there are plans to add a third floating turbine with a generating capacity of 5 megawatts later in the year, which will bring the total output capacity of the project to 14 megawatts. TheÂ $401 million project is led by Marubeni Co. and funded by the Japanese government with research and support from several public and private organizations.
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