Bloomberg Offers Windmill Power Plan
By MICHAEL BARBARO | Published: August 19, 2008
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.
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.
Invoking, tacitly or not, Daniel Burnham’s injunction to make no little plans, Mayor Bloomberg would like to pepper the NYC skyline and offshore waters with windmills. Of course, wishing doesn’t make it so.
But the mayor’s proposal for wind power faces several serious obstacles: People are likely to oppose technologies that alter the appearance of their neighborhoods; wind-harnessing technology can be exceedingly expensive; and Mr. Bloomberg has less than 18 months left in office to put a plan into place.
Several thoughts come to mind upon reflection.
- One might have wished to be a fly on the wall of the conference room where Mr. Bloomberg met with Boone Pickens. Two self-made $zillionaires, two successful entrepreneurs who, lately, have caught the environmental virus.
- The so-called egg-beater windmill, more technically a vertical-axis windmill, seems like an excellent solution for a city skyline. Click for the most likely image I found of such a vertical-axis windmill although this huge one is built at ground level. Doing a little reading on the subject has convinced me that, as it can handle winds from any direction without requiring the mechanical complexity of turning conventional blades into the wind, the vertical axis windmill might well be a better solution anywhere, not just at the spire of skyscrapers.
- Manhattan filled with skytop windmills might make the city a dead zone for pigeons.
I’m liking the plan better and better.
It’s it for now. Thanks,