The world's second largest wind farm is coming up in Oklahoma in the US. The $4.5bn (£3.4bn) Wind Catcher farm is being built in the state's panhandle and is expected to benefit 1.1 million people in the region once it becomes operational in 2020.
Being implemented by power development company Invenergy and General Electric, the project will generate two gigawatts of energy. The farm will connect to a substation in Tulsa from where the energy will be supplied through a dedicated 350-mile extra-high voltage line, reaching households across Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.
After completion, Wind Catcher is likely to be bought from Invenergy by the Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Southwestern Electric Power Company regulated utility units, reports Reuters.
While Invenergy is handling most of the construction, the turbines and equipment will be provided by GE. During construction, 8,400 jobs are expected to be provided.
The entire farm will be powered by 800 individual turbines. The Wind Catcher's turbines, each of which is expected to be taller than the Statue of Liberty, will generate 2.5 megawatts of energy.
The cost of producing power through turbines has dropped in recent years and is now stated to be comparable with the cost of producing electricity from fossil fuels. The overall savings for households will be about $7bn (£5.3bn) over the course of 25 years.
The largest wind farm in the world, currently operational in China, can generate more than three times the power that Wind Catcher will. The Gansu Wind Farm has an installed capacity of 6.8 gigawatts, but of the 7,000 turbines built, about 60% remain idle, a manager at a state-owned energy company told the New York Times in an interview.
China is reportedly adding wind turbines to its massive farms at the rate of one per hour, according to a study by Greenpeace. The country has an installed capacity of 145 gigawatts of electricity per year and the capacity is rapidly expanding. China's installed capacity is nearly twice as much as the US is generating, says the study.
Wind farms that are built offshore have the potential to expand both in size and generation capacity. The largest single turbine is now being developed in the US with a blade-span of over 200m. The entire structure will stand at 500m, taller than the Eiffel Tower, generating 50 megawatts of energy.
The world seems to be moving slowly, but surely towards a future where most of the power generated will be from renewable sources.
On 30 April through the long weekend and holiday of May 1 this year, Germany set a new record with almost the entire country using renewable energy.
Patrick Graichen of Agora Energiewende Initiative said Germany's coal-fired power stations were not operating that weekend, with renewable sources accounting for 85% of electricity across the country. He said the nuclear power plants that are still operational will be phased out by 2022.