Nature, Science

How do floating wind turbines work? 5 companies just won the first US leases for building them off California’s coast

Matthew LacknerUMass Amherst

Northern California has some of the strongest offshore winds in the U.S., with immense potential to produce clean energy. But it also has a problem. Its continental shelf drops off quickly, making building traditional wind turbines directly on the seafloor costly if not impossible.Once water gets more than about 200 feet deep – roughly the height of an 18-story building – these “monopile” structures are pretty much out . . .