It's a vision of a magnetically levitated wind turbine that can generate one gigawatt of power (enough to power 750,000 homes). This is the device proposed by a new Arizona-based company, MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies. The company claims that it can deliver clean power for less than one cent per kilowatt hour using this wind turbine.
Magnetic levitation is a very efficient method of capturing wind energy. The blades of the turbine are suspended on a cushion of air, and the energy is directed to linear generators with minimal fiction losses. But the big advantage with maglev is that it reduces maintenance costs, and increases the lifespan of the generator.
The company also points out that building a single huge turbine like this reduces construction and maintenance costs, and it requires less land space than hundreds of conventional turbines. The company is headed by Ed Mazur, a researcher of variable renewable energy sources since 1981 and inventor of the magnetic levitation wind turbine.
There has been speculation that turbines like these would use "full-permanent" magnets, meaning there are no electromagnets, only cleverly placed permanent ones (probably Halbach arrays).
China already has Maglev wind turbines in operation, see: The World's First "Magnetic Levitation" Wind Turbines Unveiled in China.
This article by WorldChanging goes into the technical details of using maglev in wind turbines.
Web site: MagLev Wind Turbine Technologies
:: Via Business Wire