Wind Catching Systems (WCS) has dramatically debuted with a massive floating wind turbine array. It claims it can generate five times the annual energy of the world’s most giant single turbines while lowering costs to be competitive with grid pricing right away.
These massive Windcatcher grids, which stand more than 1,000 feet (324 meters) tall, would use proven oil and gas sector procedures to install several smaller turbines in a staggered pattern on a floating platform tethered to the ocean floor. According to Wind Catching Systems, just one of these arrays could provide twice the swept area of the world’s largest conventional wind turbine – the 15 MW Vestas V236. Its smaller rotors could perform far better in wind speeds of 40 to 43 km/h (25 to 27 mph) when more giant turbines tend to pitch their blades to limit production and protect themselves from damage.
These arrays, according to Wind Catching Systems, are ready for 50-year service life, compared to the 30-year service life of a single giant turbine. The company claims it is prepared to begin delivering offshore wind power at grid parity — that is, at a Levelized cost of energy (LCOE, including capital expenditures) that is equal to or lower than grid power.