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Thread: Wind Farms Coming To The City?

  1. #1

    Default Wind Farms Coming To The City?

    NY1

    Mayor Floats The Idea Of Wind Farms



    The mayor announced yesterday that New York is asking companies to come up with clean energy ideas, including wind power, to fuel the five boroughs.

    At a national energy summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, yesterday, he floated the possibility of placing wind turbines on top of bridges and skyscrapers – saying it would cut the city's electricity needs, save hundreds of millions of dollars, and would ultimately make the city cleaner and more efficient.
    He also proposed the idea of offshore wind farms.

    "It would be a thing of beauty if, when Lady Liberty looks out on the horizon, she not only welcomes new immigrants to our shores, but lights the way with a torch powered by an ocean wind farm," said Bloomberg.

    New Yorkers today said that while they support the idea of new energy sources, they are worried about how the wind mills will affect the skyline.
    "I guess that it's great. At least we're saving energy," said one New Yorker. "And it's very good for the planet, too."

    "With all the things that are happening and all the different buildings, I don't think it's a good idea, unless he does it on Long Island, far away, you know where there's farm area," said another.

    "I'm not sure if it will be a good idea just because it will probably change the skyline or change the way it looks," said a third.

    "There's nothing wrong with pursuing a better way of doing something, otherwise you'll never know if it will work or not," said a fourth.

    The idea has been introduced before; Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro has been trying to get a wind farm built on the site of the former Fresh Kills landfill.

    Wind farms have been a source of controversy upstate because some residents say they are an eyesore. But supporters say they are a relatively cheap source of power.

  2. #2
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    I think it is a good, but far fetched idea.

    These guys are HUGE, and they generate a lot of lateral force when the wind blows. Most rooves are not designed for anything like that and it would be difficult to retrofit.

    Alternate deigns (like cylindrical turbines) might be advised for new designs to aleviate the obvious space limitations of a prop-design, but the force generated is still a concern.

    Farms off in the water would probably be the greatest. That combined with tidal generators (which would also, if done right, possibly serve as breakwaters to help prevent beach erosion) would be the best thing to do.

    Hell, if THAT is done right, yuo may even make an attraction out of the farm itself. Make an Oceanic Mall out there!

    Put in a KrustyBurger while you are at it!

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    10 Barclay = Decepticon Optimus Prime's Avatar
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    They would definitely be other designs (cylindrical, etc) if used in the city. The traditional rotor shape is just too big. The lateral force is certainly a concern though.

    Didn't they try to do this on the BoA tower and determine that the wind was not consistently strong enough at that location? Perhaps on the bridges there is a better shot.

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    Mayor Mike to have a lasting impression

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    I think it is a good, but far fetched idea.

    These guys are HUGE, and they generate a lot of lateral force when the wind blows. Most rooves are not designed for anything like that and it would be difficult to retrofit.

    Alternate deigns (like cylindrical turbines) might be advised for new designs to aleviate the obvious space limitations of a prop-design, but the force generated is still a concern.

    Farms off in the water would probably be the greatest. That combined with tidal generators (which would also, if done right, possibly serve as breakwaters to help prevent beach erosion) would be the best thing to do.

    Hell, if THAT is done right, yuo may even make an attraction out of the farm itself. Make an Oceanic Mall out there!

    Put in a KrustyBurger while you are at it!
    Quote Originally Posted by Optimus Prime View Post
    They would definitely be other designs (cylindrical, etc) if used in the city. The traditional rotor shape is just too big. The lateral force is certainly a concern though.

    Didn't they try to do this on the BoA tower and determine that the wind was not consistently strong enough at that location? Perhaps on the bridges there is a better shot.


    I shall be specific, and mention an alternative Made-in-America city-design for Wind Turbines, on roofs and in use, discussed in “Toward a New Architecture for the Homeless in Chicago” for Helmut Jahn’s Schiff Residences:

    It was introduced starting here, then here, and subsequently here. But the most relevant is there.

  6. #6

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    I have much admiration for mayor Bloomberg and his proposal today. He brings the issue of finding alternative energy to the forefront. And New York being the country's largest city I think its a bold step. Although the idea of massive wind turbines on major landmarks such as the Empire State building put out by the Post and other "tabloid" newspapers are just plain stupid. Another reason why I hate the Post and its dumbing down the people of the city. All I have to says is good for Bloomberg on getting the discussion going on how to face the problems that are inevitable in the future.
    Its sad how under this administration we have to look to city and state leaders to get the ball rolling on crucial issues when the federal government provides absolutely no leadership on renewable energy alternatives over the past 8 years. I don't know about you but I am ready for CHANGE.

  7. #7

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    New York Times slide show HERE

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    Architects and Engineers Express Doubt About Bloomberg’s Windmill Proposal

    By KEN BELSON and DAVID W. DUNLAP
    Published: August 20, 2008

    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.

    Illustration by Ji Lee; photograph by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
    New Ideas for Energy
    When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said that power from windmills might light the Statue of Liberty’s torch, this is probably not what he had in mind.

    Peter Arkle
    Mayor Bloomberg's plan to put windmills atop skyscrapers has been criticized, but what about these two approaches, in the illustrations above and below?

    “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 thought of making the most of a clean, bottomless resource like wind is certainly an attractive one. But the challenges of harvesting that resource in a densely populated city like New York are manifold, which is why several initiatives to experiment with wind in recent years have not taken flight.

    Skyscrapers would have to be designed — or retrofitted at great cost — to accommodate the extra weight, vibration and swaying of the turbines. Insurers would have to be persuaded that turbines are worth the risk. And New York is not a particularly windy city, so a few buildings facing New York Harbor might be the only sites that make sense.

    Even if Mr. Bloomberg could find investors willing to build turbines capable of generating 1,000 megawatts of electricity, experts said, operators of the city’s grid would be able to count on only 100 megawatts, or less than 1 percent of peak demand.

    Solar panels, by contrast, can be put on an array of structures and are active on hot, sunny days when electricity use is high. (New York is windiest on winter nights, when demand is low).

    “New York is really a solar city,” said Anthony Pereira, chief executive of altPower, a company that helps design, develop and install solar and wind power and is a member of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, an industry group.

    Mr. Pereira said that some solar panel installations could pay for themselves in four years, compared with as many as 25 years for small wind turbines.
    Speaking on Wednesday in Washington Heights, the mayor said that his proposals for wind power were only the “very beginning” and that “if you don’t ask, you’re never going to find out” whether new ideas make economic sense.

    “Windmills are no panacea for our problems, but they can help,” he said, a day after making his proposal in a speech at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. “No one thing will fix the problems we have created over the years.”

    The mayor said that he saw windmills off the shore of Blackpool, England, where they appeared as dots on the horizon. But the track record for such projects in New York is spotty.

    Last year, the Long Island Power Authority’s proposal to build dozens of windmills off Jones Beach was shot down because the projected costs skyrocketed and the cost of electricity from the turbines would have been at least double that of power from traditional sources.

    Wind turbines have been used at a handful of sites in New York City, including Battery Park City and 34th Street at the East River. They have been installed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard site and soon will be placed at a commercial building in the Melrose section of the Bronx.

    A serious consideration of harvesting wind energy on New York’s skyscrapers and bridges, however, requires the abandonment of any fanciful idea about installing windmills on the Empire State Building or the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    First of all, it is unlikely that any existing structure would be able to withstand the extra swaying, twisting, vibrating and weight that turbines impose. So the tower’s structural framework would have to be retrofitted to handle the new loads, adding enormously to a project’s cost with relatively little yield.

    Second, the familiar windmill or wind farm turbine has a horizontal rotor with radiating blades. These would pose a tremendous liability in the city, where a flying blade could do great damage. (Five people were killed in 1977 by a helicopter blade that snapped off atop what is now the MetLife Building on Park Avenue.)

    There are vertical-axis wind turbines, some of which resemble giant food processor blades, that can collect wind from any direction and have been the choice of several architects who considered wind farms for the city.

    Christoph Niemann

    Kohn Pedersen Fox
    More than 30 vertical wind turbines were included in the design for the proposed New York Jets stadium on the West Side.

    Kohn Pedersen Fox
    A design for the Ubiquitous Life Building, an exhibition hall in New Songdo City, South Korea, with vertical rooftop turbines.

    Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
    Some exterior walls of the Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, are scoops that direct the wind into turbines.

    Eight vertical wind turbines were integral to the original design of the new 1 World Trade Center, also known as Freedom Tower, by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. They would have been situated within an open-air, cable-framed structure at the tower’s upper reaches, though they were never envisioned as a major power source.

    “It would have been a small but identifiable portion of the building’s needs,” said Carl Galioto, a Skidmore partner. “We were hoping that, at peak capacity, it would have been enough to power the elevators. If it were able to do that, it would have been rather impressive.”

    The turbines would also have served as a symbolic representation of perpetual renewal, certainly a meaningful theme at ground zero.

    But Gov. George E. Pataki expressed concern about the danger the blades would pose to migrating birds, and others worried about them icing up. Before these issues could be resolved, the New York Police Department raised objections to the tower’s overall security provisions, compelling a redesign that abandoned the wind farm notion.

    More than 30 vertical wind turbines, each about 50 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter, were included in the Kohn Pedersen Fox design of the stadium proposed for the New York Jets on the West Side.

    “They were designed to capture the prevailing winds from the Hudson River,” said Trent J. Tesch, a senior associate principal at the firm. He added that their presence within the industrial-looking facade would have “expressed the frenetic energy of what was happening inside.”

    In combination with photovoltaic cells, Mr. Tesch said, the plan called for the turbines to produce enough power to satisfy all the stadium’s needs when a game was being played and to generate energy for other users when the team was not playing. The stadium project was scuttled in 2005 when legislative leaders in Albany failed to support it.

    Kohn Pedersen Fox is proposing an array of vertical turbines for an exhibition hall called the Ubiquitous Life Building in New Songdo City, South Korea. These would collect the wind that hits the building’s facade, forcing it to cross the rooftop. “They don’t necessarily have to be incredibly high up to be productive,” Mr. Tesch said.

    Urban turbine farms might be productively situated at industrial sites around New York Harbor, where they could take advantage of low-rise surroundings and wind off the water, Mr. Galioto said. And there are other ways of collecting wind energy in large structures. Skidmore is working on the 71-story Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, where the exterior walls of the mechanical-equipment floors are shaped into enormous scoops to direct the wind into turbines inside. These will generate energy for the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning, the firm said.

    “There’s an example of building design,” Mr. Galioto said, “where wind power is integrated within the building and one doesn’t need all sorts of fanciful contraptions appended to the top.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/21/ny...l?ref=nyregion

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
    Last edited by brianac; August 21st, 2008 at 05:57 AM.

  9. #9
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Skyscrapers would have to be designed — or retrofitted at great cost — to accommodate the extra weight, vibration and swaying of the turbines.

    Hmmm..... I wonder where I heard that before.......

  10. #10

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    It appears this proposal is dead as Bloomberg himself now expresses doubt.

  11. #11

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    Obviously dumb idea from the beginning.

  12. #12

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    Here some excerpts from article "Energy efficiency in the built environment" that appeared in July 2008 issue of Physics Today.


    ... buildings are the largest energy consumer in the US, which is a surprise to many people. The combined residential and commercial building sectors consume close to 40% of the total primary US energy. Over the past three decades, residential energy consumption has grown due to more and larger homes, although the fraction of total US energy for residences has remained at about 20–22%. Over the same time frame, the commercial portion of US energy consumption has risen from 13% to 18% of the total. The combined residential and commercial building sector also uses 70% of US electricity.

    ... An aggressive efficiency program in the building sector would forestall a substantial portion of the demand for new power stations and give more time to develop environmentally friendly energy-supply concepts. Not only are there a host of opportunities to apply today's efficiency knowledge, but advanced technologies—drawing on basic research by scientists and engineers in solid-state lighting, thermodynamics, turbulent flows, and nanotechnology—could allow us to economically reduce building energy demand by far more than 50% from today's level.

  13. #13
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Yep!

    Figure it this way:

    Air conditioning, especially for lobbies.
    Advertisements (Times Square in particular)
    Computers, networks and support hardware (printers, etc)
    Photocopy machines.
    Lighting.

    Also figure that offices are used during teh day, so AC costs are usually higher. Shutting down the AC at night saves a bit of money, but not much. They may even do better sometimes leaving some sort of exterior vent ON overnight to cool the building down.


    But I think Bloomies idea was not necessarily a bad one, just misdirected. NYC would not be the best city to start a wind farm in situ. I think they would have better luck with somewhere like LA (especially during the whole "Santa Anna" thing). The key is, making them fit where they are placed AND making them worth the while. (while=$$+time+space).

  14. #14

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    August 22, 2008, 12:05 pm

    Fresh Kills, New York’s Next Wind Farm?

    By Sewell Chan


    A rendering of the vast park planned for the former site of the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island shows, from the southeast, several windmills in operation. (Image: James Corner/Field Operations)

    Having spent decades persuading the city to close the giant Fresh Kills landfill, Staten Island officials are now arguing that the vast site would be the perfect home for the energy-creating windmills that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has proposed as a way to make New York City more sustainable.

    “If we are serious about reducing pollution, promoting environmentally friendly power, and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, which funds terrorism throughout the world, then we should support wind energy,” the Staten Island borough president, James P. Molinaro, said in a statement this week. “We can start right here on Staten Island. Fresh Kills, one of the country’s worst ecological nightmares, is poised to become New York City’s first wind farm. It is the only site in the city that has been tested and proven suitable for a wind farm.”

    As Tina Kelley reported in March on City Room, Mr. Molinaro has already been pushing Gov. David A. Paterson to support the idea.

    “Pending state and city approvals, the seven 400-foot turbines could generate 17 megawatts of energy, enough to power 5,000 homes,” Mr. Molinaro wrote to Mr. Paterson in March. “It would take 4.3 million gallons of oil per year to achieve this electric production. With oil at more than $100 a barrel today, the energy costs would be staggering.”

    Mr. Paterson’s staff members expressed cautious interest in the idea. And now, Mr. Bloomberg’s sudden embrace of the windmill concept has been, well, a windfall of sorts for Mr. Molinaro.

    Placing windmills over Fresh Kills is not so far-fetched a dream. Renderings of the giant park that is to be built over the Fresh Kills site over several decades have already included windmills, as the illustration above shows.

    Mr. Molinaro’s office said — in a statement this week that echoes what he told Mr. Paterson in March — that there is a scientific basis for putting wind-powered turbines over the former landfill:
    Last year, a 14-month feasibility study conducted by the New York State Energy Research and Development Agency and upstate BQ Energy concluded that there is enough wind at Fresh Kills to sustain a wind farm. Seven 400-foot wind turbines would generate 17.5 megawatts of energy, which is equal to 3 percent of Staten Island’s energy use.

    James P. Molinaro, the Staten Island borough president (Photo: Ruby Washington/The New York Times)

    Mr. Molinaro proposed a situation under which private companies would compete for a lease to develop a wind farm at Fresh Kills at their own expense. He said the major hurdle was regulatory, not economic.

    “I have heard every possible excuse as to why this project cannot progress, ranging from the ridiculous — windmills kill too many birds — to the physically incorrect — landfills cannot physically support windmills,” Mr. Molinaro said in a statement.

    He said he planned to court potential supporters, like Robert C. Lieber, the deputy mayor for economic development, and even the investor T. Boone Pickens, who has called for reducing dependence on foreign oil. He called on New Yorkers to write to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation and the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

    The wind farm proposal, Mr. Molinaro said, will be discussed at a public hearing on Fresh Kills at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 at Public School 58, 77 Marsh Avenue, behind the Staten Island Mall.

    Separately, a California company, Marquiss Wind Power, which makes rooftop wind turbines, sent a letter to Mr. Bloomberg, offering to set up a free wind turbine in New York City to demonstrate the technology.

    http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...arm/#more-3708

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  15. #15

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    Air Storage Is Explored for Energy

    By KEN BELSON
    Published: August 26, 2008

    When Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg dreamed out loud last week about a New York skyline filled with wind turbines, one of the most serious issues raised by the naysayers was that the wind does not always blow when you need it.

    But a New Jersey company plans to announce on Tuesday that it is working on a solution to this perennial problem with wind power: using wind turbines to produce compressed air that can be stored underground or in tanks and released later to power generators during peak hours.

    The company, Public Service Enterprise Group Global LLC, a subsidiary of P.S.E.G. Energy Holdings, is forming a joint venture with Michael Nakhamkin, a leader in the development of energy storage technology. The new company, Energy Storage and Power, will promote the use of compressed air storage technology to utilities and other power producers. (P.S.E.G. Global is the sister company of Public Service Electric and Gas Company, New Jersey’s largest power distributor, which has 2.2 million customers.)

    The technology has been around for decades, though the only major plant in the United States opened in Alabama in 1991. Another plant was built in Germany in the 1970s. But compressed air storage is getting a fresh look because so many windmills have been built across the country in recent years, and energy producers are increasingly looking for ways to avoid building power plants that rely on expensive oil and natural gas.

    Dr. Nakhamkin, who worked on the plant in Alabama, has developed new technology that reduces the startup time for generators powered by compressed air and cuts the amount of emissions they produce. The new facilities would also use more standard components, which would make the plants cheaper to build, depending on how much mining is required to create an underground reservoir.

    “This is a game-changing technology,” said Stephen C. Byrd, the president of P.S.E.G. Energy Holdings, which will invest $20 million over three years. “There is a desire for energy independence, and this will reduce the need for oil and natural gas.”

    The venture has met with utilities that might buy the storage technology. Compressed air can be produced by a variety of fuels. But the new venture hopes to put wind power generated during off-peak hours to use during peak hours — typically 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — and especially on hot days.

    One of the main challenges to using wind power is that the wind, in general, is unpredictable, which makes it harder for utilities to rely exclusively on it since they prefer to buy energy a day or more in advance.

    In New York, that unpredictability is compounded by the fact that the city is at its windiest on winter nights, while power use peaks on sticky — and still — summer days.

    P.S.E.G. Global is trying to win a contract to build 95 windmills that would produce a maximum of 350 megawatts of electricity off the New Jersey coast. If the company is chosen, it would consider linking the windmills to a compressed air storage plant, Mr. Byrd said, and then feeding it into the power grid.

    If a storage plant were to be built in New Jersey, it would most likely use above-ground tanks or abandoned gas pipelines because so much of the state is on solid rock, which would be expensive to excavate, Mr. Byrd said.

    More favorable locations, he said, include upstate New York, where there are depleted salt mines as well as wind farms. Old coal mines and tapped-out natural gas fields can also be converted into underground reservoirs.

    Roy Daniel, the chief executive of Energy Storage and Power, said that an underground reservoir the size of Giants Stadium could hold enough compressed air to power three 300-megawatt plants. (One megawatt hour can power a large hospital for an hour.) The reservoirs, which are typically more than 1,500 feet below ground, could take eight hours to fill at night. The compressed air would be released to run generators for eight hours during the day.

    Though the former Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island has been deemed suitable for a wind farm, and the mayor has envisioned a future in which the city’s bridges and skyscrapers are topped with turbines, a compressed air storage plant is unlikely to be built in New York City because of the rocky underground and the lack of free space above ground.

    But New York utilities could buy power stored and produced anywhere. Advocates of wind power support the use of compressed air storage facilities, but say that almost all of the wind power produced nationally is fed straight into the grid without having to be stored.

    “Different sectors like to associate with wind power, and if compressed air will truly help wind, then fine,” said Robert E. Gramlich, the policy director at the American Wind Energy Association. “But we don’t want to give anyone the impression that storage is needed to integrate wind. Even growing 20-fold, storage isn’t needed.”

    Mr. Gramlich pointed to a federal Department of Energy report that showed wind power could meet 20 percent of electricity needs in the United States by 2030 without the need for storage facilities.

    Still, storage facilities could help reduce the need to build new gas and coal plants, or to use current plants, powered by fossil fuels.

    “In the next couple of years, we want to install a couple of them so it becomes a tool in the toolbox to meet needs,” said Arshad Mansoor, the vice president of power delivery and utilization at the Electric Power Research Institute.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/26/ny...l?ref=nyregion

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

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