Drive down the California Interstate or cut through flat-as-a-pancake U.S. heartland, and you’ll see gaggles of giant pinwheels spinning alongside the roads. Most of those wind farms are subsidized in part by the government with the goal of promoting and building up sustainable energy innovation.
A new proposal for two offshore wind farms in the The Netherlands, however, is aiming to be one of the first wind farm projects to operate only on private funding. The Swedish energy company Vattenfall won a proposal to build the wind farms 14 miles off the Dutch coast that would stretch for 137 square miles and each generate 350 megawatts. That’s enough energy to power 1.5 million households, according to the MIT Technology Review.
The project, which is slated to be built by 2022, is part of The Netherland’s goal to get 14 percent of its energy from renewable sources. No word yet on if the pylons are floating or anchored. Regardless, it’s a wonky but telling sign that wind energy, once a futuristic pipe dream, is getting to the point where the economic model is sustainable, too.