GE created lightweight 176-foot blades—about 40 percent longer than the average—with a more aerodynamic shape. The blades will attach to a drivetrain that does away with many of the moving parts, including the gearbox, that are prone to breakage and energy loss. A direct-drive mechanism replaces gears, and permanent magnets replace the electromagnets that require starter brushes, coils and power from the grid every time they fire up. The blades are now being tested in the Netherlands, and the drivetrain in Norway. Combining the two should result in a turbine that captures 25 percent more wind power than conventional models, so it can operate more often at its full four-megawatt potential—enough to power 1,000 homes.