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First wind-current power system to be installed off Japan's coast

A Japanese company will soon test the first renewable energy source to harvest the power of the wind and ocean.

Concept art of the SKWID floating wind and current hybrid power generation system. Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Company

We may be closer to harnessing the power of the sea and air. The world's first hybrid wind-current power generation system will be installed off the coast of Japan later this year.

The Savonius Keel & Wind Turbine Darrieus (SKWID) power generation system being developed by Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Company (Modec) is a floating system that shares a vertical floating axis. On the company's Web site (PDF), Modec says the concept will generate double or more power from the same sea surface area as a conventional wind turbine.

According to Japan's NHK News, the wind turbine will be 154 feet above sea level and the tidal turbine will have a diameter of about 50 feet. The two sections will be connected by a power generator, the Japanese news agency reports.

NHK News sources say that the turbine will be tested in the fall. Once operational, the turbine could generate enough energy to power about 300 households, the news agency reports.

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