Enel Green Power says that its newly-developed wind turbine will be able to take advantage of very low wind speeds and will have less visual impact than other machines.

The Italian renewable energy company has unveiled a 55 kW prototype of the turbine, which takes advantage of recent research into new materials. It can operate in wind speeds as low as 2 m/s, says Enel.

Enel revealed the new concept in Rovereto, Italy, and says that the prototype will undergo 12 months of testing at the Molinetto test field in Pisa, Italy, before mass production for the Italian market starts. The prototype has a two-blade design to help minimize its visual impact.

Enel is also expecting to market the mini-turbine abroad in countries such as the USA, France, Spain and Greece.

The turbine was designed with the help of Italian architect Renzo Piano. A two-blade design was favoured over the conventional three-blade design because it produces less flicker and has the silhouette of a thin vertical line when there is no wind.