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Researchers reap unexpected benefits after implementing 'wind park' that can revolutionize energy production: 'Huge potential'

"We have so much untapped area within our turbines that is not being used."

"We have so much untapped area within our turbines that is not being used."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Offshore wind farms can provide us with clean, renewable energy to power our homes. But they can also provide us with delicious seafood, as researchers in Denmark have shown. 

Swedish state-owned power firm Vattenfall and Aarhus University in Denmark have teamed up to create the world's first offshore wind farm that doubles as an underwater seafood farm, Euronews reported.

The "wind park," as its developers are calling it, is located in the Baltic Sea and has a capacity of over 600 megawatts, allowing it to power up to 600,000 homes in Germany and Denmark, per Euronews. It also just had its first harvest of seaweed, with fresh mussels coming soon.

"Seaweed and mussels are low trophic aquaculture crops, which means that they can be produced without the use of fertilisers. They take up nutrients from the sea and produce healthy foods," said the project leader, Aarhus University senior scientist Annette Bruhn, in the Euronews report.

The impetus behind the project is an acknowledgment that there is a limited amount of space for developing new clean energy projects — even at sea — and that any space taken up for development should be used as efficiently and productively as possible. 

"There's an increasing competition for space on land and in the sea," Bruhn added, per Euronews. "We can, in one area, produce both fossil-free energy and food for a growing population."

By looking at wind farms as opportunities for additional benefits, clean energy advocates believe that we could spur faster development and adoption of these energy sources.

Vattenfall's Tim Wilms told Euronews that there is "huge potential. We have so much untapped area within our turbines that is not being used. In some areas, it makes a lot of sense to combine with sustainable food," while in other areas, "we might look into offshore solar," effectively doubling down on clean energy production.

Another similar project, a combined offshore wind and seaweed farm, is in the works in the North Sea.

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