French conglomerate Alstom is building a wind farm prototype along the country's Atlantic coast, and the 100 meters-tall turbine tower uses 75 meters-long wind blades, the largest in the world. The turbine is meant to be used above the ocean's surface, so the engineering and manufacturing have to be precise to withstand the harsh weather and wet conditions. An offshore location for a wind farm is seen as a much better place because of the consistency and strength of the wind.
So far, most land-based wind turbines don't produce much power because the wind dies down. When that happens, electricity generation falls off quickly. A drop in wind speed by half will result in a loss of generation by a factor of eight. The new six megawatt turbine uses a new approach to how the spinning blades' energy is transferred to the generator. By maximizing this principle, more electricity is produced and less spinning energy is wasted in the form of tower vibration and heat-loss. Each tower should be able to make enough electricity for around 5,000 households, according to Alstom. The prototype is being installed in Le Carnet, but the actual offshore locations have yet to be decided. The company plans to build up to 100 of these turbines per year starting in 2016, ideally. Start the slideshow to see the massive blades and tower being built. Tell us in the comments if you think wind power is really the future.