Long-time Slashdot reader fahrbot-bot shares a report from the New York Times:Twirling above a strip of land at the mouth of Rotterdam’s harbor [in the Netherlands] is a wind turbine so large it is difficult to photograph. The turning diameter of its rotor is longer than two American football fields end to end. Later models will be taller than any building on the mainland of Western Europe. Packed with sensors gathering data on wind speeds, electricity output and stresses on its components, the giant whirling machine in the Netherlands is a test model for a new series of giant offshore wind turbines planned by General Electric. When assembled in arrays, the wind machines have the potential to power cities, supplanting the emissions-spewing coal- or natural gas-fired plants that form the backbones of many electric systems today… [A]lready the giant turbines have turned heads in the industry. A top executive at the world’s leading wind farm developer called it a “bit of a leapfrog over the latest technology.” And an analyst said the machine’s size and advance sales had “shaken the industry.” The prototype is the first of a generation of new machines that are about a third more powerful than the largest already in commercial service. As such, it is changing the business calculations of wind equipment makers, developers and investors. The G.E. machines will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. A single one will be able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light up a town of roughly 12,000 homes.Read more of this story at Slashdot.