Seeing a need to provide an energy source in remote areas without having to build a 200 ft. supporting structure, Fred Ferguson created the MARS (Maggen Air Rotor System) Turbine, which is essentially a tethered, floating wind turbine. From Cool Hunting:
Essentially a blimp covered in fins, Ferguson’s turbine flies 1,000 feet high, connecting to the ground with a tether that doubles as an energy conductor.
Like conventional wind turbines, MARS uses magnetic induction to produce energy, but the difference comes with increased altitude. Catching wind 800 feet higher than its traditional counterparts, there’s much less resistance and greater wind speed, ultimately allowing the MARS access to a superior crop of wind. Another advantage, the turbine can produce energy in winds as low as seven mph and as high as 63 mph whereas contemporary turbines shut down around 35 mph and with little or no wind, they become useless.
It will be commercially available early 2011. A more compact version is also being developed.