Atlantic Wind Connection would link wind farms over hundreds of miles
By David Roberts
Posted 04.28.2011 at 12:26 pm 16 Comments
During the last ice age, glaciers a mile high pushed several dozen cubic miles of rock, sand and debris into the ocean off North America’s mid-Atlantic coast, creating a broad shelf that extends up to 40 miles offshore. This long, flat stretch of seabed and the shallow, windy waters that cover it make the ideal spot for dozens of offshore wind farms—and if all goes well, the network that would link those turbines together and back to the coast will soon be in place.
A boxy power plant that could one day produce efficient, inexpensive, clean energy in every home might sound like a pipe dream, but it's the very real product of a Silicon Valley startup called Bloom Energy. Twenty large corporations that include Google, FedEx, Walmart and eBay have already purchased and begun testing the Bloom Boxes. 60 Minutes recently got a sneak peek at this possibly game-changing energy device.
Cars could shed their image as energy hogs and become mobile storage points for the electric grid, if engineers backed by the National Science Foundation get their way. Hybrid electric vehicles might even feed unused electricity back into the grid and earn money for their owners, not unlike how some homeowners who create renewable energy can sell back electricity to utility companies.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.