Harnassing the Power of Wind!

Monday, January 7, 2013 by Rachelle Pinault

Where does the energy you use to turn on your lights or run your refrigerator come from? How do you heat your home or apartment? Do you use oil? Electric? Propane? Wood? Energy can come from all sorts of places.

Renewable energy is naturally occurring energy, energy that is not produced by nuclear or fossil fuels and should never run out. Humans have used renewable energy for centuries, whether it was the wind that filled sails on their ships, or running rivers that turned water wheels to grind their flour.

In recent years, people have begun trying to harness the energy created naturally, by wind or sunlight for example, on a large scale. Large enough to produce energy for whole towns or cities!

If you have driven past Mars Hill Mountain in northern Maine over the past several years, you most likely noticed the large white wind turbines that were installed to produce energy by simply spinning in the high winds blowing over the mountain.

Wind turbines like these can be found all over the world, on land as well as at sea. There are plans to bring wind turbines to the Gulf of Maine in hopes of creating new industry and a form of energy independence to the state.

This past November, a one-eighth scale turbine was installed at the University of Maine at Orono, for testing. If everything goes well, two full-scale turbines will be installed this year in the Gulf of Maine. The wind turbines will be connected with an undersea cable to a power grid, and will be the first of their kind in the United States.

Source: http://www.wikipedia.org/

Offshore wind turbines have the potential of generating huge amounts of energy! Using renewable energy, such as wind, to generate our power could drastically reduce our impact on the environment. There is potential, however, for there to be negative impacts from installing large turbines in the ocean. What do you think? What are some of the positive impacts offshore wind turbines could have? And how might they have negative effects on ocean life?

If you would like to learn more, here is a link to an article in the Bangor Daily News:

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/12/09/news/bangor/test-turbine-at-umaine-could-be-a-glimpse-into-maines-offshore-wind-energy-future/?ref=videos



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