Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mayor Bloomberg Seeking Windmills for NYC Bridges and Buildings - Start With the Incredible Queensboro Bridge Wind Machine!

Image of windmill on top of Empire State Building from NY Post

Mayor Bloomberg's Plan NYC 2030 initiative for a more sustainable, green and energy efficient New York City tookanother step forward with the announcement that the City is seeking:
expressions of interest from firms with experience implementing renewable energy projects, as well as other interested parties. Specifically, the City seeks to gather information on potential renewable energy projects that advance PlaNYC goals and accelerate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The information gathered from this RFEI will be used to identify promising renewable energy projects for New York City and to provide a better understanding of the opportunities for both established and emerging renewable energy technologies.
According to the NY Post:
Forget Chicago.New York would claim title as the genuine "Windy City" under a dramatic proposal by Mayor Bloomberg yesterday to develop wind turbines atop the Big Apple's bridges and skyscrapers.
Adds the NY Times:
Mr. Bloomberg said he would ask private companies and investors to study how windmills can be built across the city, with the aim of weaning it off the nation’s overtaxed power grid, which has produced several crippling blackouts in New York over the last decade.

Mr. Bloomberg did not specify which skyscrapers and bridges would be candidates for windmills, and city officials would need to work with property owners to identify the buildings that would best be able to hold the equipment.

But aides said that for offshore locations, the city was eyeing the generally windy coast off Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island for turbines that could generate 10 percent of the city’s electricity needs within 10 years.

Let's start bringing windmill power to New York City with the Incredible Queensboro Bridge Wind Machine introduced in this earlier post. Video from Current TV.

Also, let's not forgot the Verdant Power underwater turbine project in the East River just off of Roosevelt Island. Video from Current TV.

As mentioned in the Verdant video, fish may have to be careful around Roosevelt Island in the future to avoid being chopped up and sliced by the water turbines as will birds if the windmills are ever built.

UPDATE - 8/21: NY Times reports that architects and engineers express great doubts on feasibility of wind power for New York City but that solar power has great possibilities.

UPDATE - 8/23: NY Times reports on Verdant Power's third try at installing water turbines in the East River.
...Imagine a field of windmills, but underwater. Instead of making power only when the wind blows, they would run according to the tide charts, as predictable as the phases of the moon. The East River — not a real river, but a tidal strait connecting Long Island Sound to Upper New York Bay — is famous for currents so strong that sailboats must wait for the tide to turn in their favor.

Those currents ate up the first two generations of turbines, installed by Verdant Power, a small private company, in late 2006 and early 2007. The only way inventors can make anything work is to see how it doesn’t work. And in the saga of the East River turbines, there is already a sharp lesson on the risks of giving up too soon....