Powering 4000 Homes: One Wind Turbine
Enercon, Germany's largest wind turbine manufacturer, now makes the most powerful wind turbine in the world, the E112. This giant turbine was upgraded, so that instead of generating 4.5 megawatts, it now produces 6 megawatts — that's enough to supply power to 4000 homes in Germany. It's named the E112 because it has a rotor diameter of 112 meters (about 367 feet). It also has an innovative gearless drive system, so it doesn't require any oil to operate. The tips of the turbine's blades are tilted to reduce noise emissions.
Other distinctive features include the drop-shaped turbine housing, which was designed by Sir Norman Foster, and the turbines towers, which are painted light green at their base to blend in with their surroundings.
One of these turbines is being used to supply power in Dardesheim. This remarkable town makes use of renewable power almost exclusively (read more about the town here).
Manufacturers have been increasing the size of turbines over the past few decades, as this diagram shows:
To see the largest wind turbines (in terms of rotor diameter) see this previous post on the RePower turbines.
For more info on Enercon, see this Wikipedia entry.