Wind turbines at ground level produce at a rate of 20-25%, but when placed at altitudes from 600-1000 feet, energy output can double. Ottawa-based Magenn Power is in the prototype stages of the world’s first floating wind turbine. The Magenn Air Rotor System or MARS is a stationary blimp kept afloat with helium and tethered into place on an electrical grid. Centrifugal blades on the MARS can generate up to several megawatts of clean, renewable energy at a price well below our current grounded wind turbines.

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While we’ve been intrigued by other forms of lofty renewable energy systems, MARS stands out for its seemingly low-impact presence and highly mobile capabilities. Eventually the company hopes to use MARS in remote locations for camping or cabins, in developing countries with little rural access to electricity, and for emergency disaster relief. For now, Magenn is focused on viability and testing the prototype.