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This floating multi-wind-turbine system can generate enough electricity for 80,000 homes. Photo: Wind Catching Systems

A Norwegian company has come up with a radically different design for offshore wind turbines that could help the world achieve its renewable energy goals.

Why it matters: Wind power is cheap and efficient, but the strongest winds are far offshore, in deep waters, where it’s difficult to drive a turbine into the seabed. Floating wind farms can be anchored farther into the ocean.

Details: Wind Catching Systems scrapped the traditional Dutch windmill design — a pole and three giant blades — in favor of a 1,000-foot-high, grid-like network of smaller turbines that spin faster, generating more energy.

  • One of its floating Wind Catchers can produce enough electricity to power 80,000 European homes, the company says.

Context: The world's first floating wind farm opened in 2017 off the coast of Scotland, using a different design, according to Fast Company, which tipped us off to the concept.

What's next: Wind Catching Systems plans to deploy a prototype in the North Sea soon but has its eye on the U.S. too.

  • "The areas outside the coast of California would suit our system perfectly, with strong winds in deep waters near the coast," CFO Ronny Karlsen tells Axios via email. That won't happen before 2025.

Go deeper

California wildfire swells, triggering more evacuations, power shutoffs

A firefighter battles the Alisal Fire on Oct. 12. Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

More than 1,300 California firefighters are working to contain the wind-driven blaze that triggered new evacuation orders and far-reaching power shut-offs, officials said.

The big picture: The Alisal Fire, which ignited near the Alisal Reservoir on Monday, now spans more than 15,000 acres and is only 5% contained, according to Inciweb, an inter-agency incident information site.

30 mins ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.