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California's Wind Farms Could Power Up To 1.6 Million Homes

Northern California has some of the strongest offshore winds in the U.S. which gives it potential to produce renewable energy. The wind farms could generate around 4.6 gigawatts, which is enough to power around 1.6 million homes. However, the "continental shelf", which is part of the continental margin which is between the shoreline and the shelf break, drops off quickly, making it expensive to install wind turbines.

The solution is to make the turbines float, much like the diagram to the left. The state of California, are moving forward on plans to develop the nation’s first floating offshore wind farms as we speak.

A floating wind turbine works just like other wind turbines which is where wind pushes on the turbines, causing the rotor to turn, which drives a generator that creates electricity. A floating wind turbine sits on a platform with mooring lines, such as chains or ropes, that connect to anchors in the seabed below.

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