The German town of Gaildorf is now home to the world’s largest wind turbine. Max Bögl Wind AG constructed the turbine, and its central hub alone measures some 178 meters (584 feet). When the length of the blade is added to that, the turbine’s height is 246.5 meters (808.7 feet).
The record-breaking turbine is part of a quartet of towers that all have hubs between 155 and 178 meters (508 and 583 feet) tall. They’ll reportedly produce an average of 10,500MWh every year. To put that into context, the average U.S. household uses around 10MWh annually.
The project cost $81 million and is expected to provide a return of $7.6 million per year, according to a report by Elektrek.
Being home to the world’s largest wind turbine isn’t simply a matter of securing bragging rights — a taller turbine means more clean energy production. For every extra meter in turbine height, annual energy output increases by between 0.5 and one percent as a result of decreased turbulence and higher wind speeds.
Transitioning from fossil fuels to wind power is hugely beneficial to our environment. Already, wind farms have prevented more than 600 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Now, scientists and engineers are looking for ways to design bigger and bigger turbines so we can take advantage of their enhanced efficiency, and the sky really is the limit.