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Wind Turbines Gaining Traction in New York City

With two new wind turbine installations at the tops of buildings in New York and dozens more in the pipeline, will turbines be as ubiquitous as water towers on the New York skyline?
May 28, 2014, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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"In an industry, a city and a society obsessed with being green, wind turbines remain scarce — only two apartment buildings in New York City harvest the skies for energy, with limited yields," reports Matt Chaban. "But in the past few weeks, two new installations have popped up, the one on Pearson Street and another atop what is now Brooklyn’s tallest building, 388 Bridge Street. At least half a dozen more are on the horizon."

The article details the market for the turbines, the city's history of turbines (all the way back to 1626), and the complicated system of New York winds determine their installation and operation.

A fairly large (and familiar) piece of the puzzle has yet to be resolved before the mass-adoption of turbine technology as a green building best practice, however, which is how helpful the turbines actually are. "'A tiny windmill on a big building is just silly — it might as well be a pinwheel,' said Russell Unger, executive director of the Urban Green Council. 'It’s a lovely idea, if people want to pay for it and test it out, but as far as return on investment goes, it’s a waste compared to more insulation and efficient building systems.'"

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Published on Monday, May 26, 2014 in New York Times
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