This sea-turbine is in Maine, and is the first in the U.S. It’s a pilot project run by Maine Electric. Note the workers, bottom left for scale. This beast will provide electricity for only 30 homes, but more are scheduled to be built soon.
Each major wind farm in America creates 1,000+ jobs and adds millions of dollars to local communities. Today, wind farms generate about 50,000 megawatts of clean, renewable energy — the equivalent of the energy produced by 12 Hoover Dams.
Scientists do not know why these turbines create clouds in the North Sea. NOAA wind researcher Bob Banta, a scientist at the Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado is frank about it, “I cannot tell you exactly what’s going on here. But I can say this is a dramatic, striking example of wind wakes, and this is why the measurements we’re making here in Colorado are so important.”
Why do clouds form downwind of these offshore wind turbines? It’s evident from the haze that the air upwind (in the foreground of the photo) is nearly saturated with water vapor. Maybe when that moisture-laden air hits the turbines, it slows and cools, condensing out water to form clouds. Or maybe, Banta speculates, it’s because the turbulence downwind pulls additional cool, moist air from the ocean surface.