NYC mayor Bloomberg envisions wind turbines on skyline

The New York Times (8/20) reports

In a plan that would drastically remake New York City’s skyline and shores, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is seeking to put wind turbines on the city’s bridges and skyscrapers and in its waters as part of a wide-ranging push to develop renewable energy.

The plan, while still in its early stages, appears to be the boldest environmental proposal to date from the mayor, who has made energy efficiency a cornerstone of his administration.

… “When it comes to producing clean power, we’re determined to make New York the No. 1 city in the nation,” Mr. Bloomberg said…

But the paper also reports (8/21) that architects and engineers express some doubt whether it would work:

Interviews with architects, engineers and energy experts on Wednesday suggest that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proposal to place wind turbines atop the city’s skyscrapers and bridges, as well as off the coastline of Queens and Brooklyn, would be complicated and expensive and barely begin to meet the growth in demand for electricity that is expected in the coming years.

“The smaller turbines that he’s talking about almost don’t pay in terms of kilowatts per hour produced,” said Daniel Karpen, a Long Island engineering consultant who has studied the feasibility of wind power. “He’s going to need money to build them, and then you end up with a tremendous amount of red tape. It’s a nightmare.”

The latter article also discusses, however, the potential of vertical axis wind turbines, which even Jay Leno appears to embrace. And the mayor appears to have backed off in any event, per the Associated Press:

“There are aesthetic considerations,” Bloomberg said. “No. 2, I have absolutely no idea whether that makes any sense from a scientific, from a practical point of view.”

Bloomberg sought to dial back his windmill proposal while speaking to reporters on Wednesday after returning from Las Vegas, where he gave a speech at the National Clean Energy Summit imagining, among other things, harnessing wind power with turbines on bridges and skyscrapers.


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