At yesterday’s clean-energy summit in Las Vegas, Mayor Bloomberg had harsh words for Barack Obama and John McCain — but he had encouraging sentiments for New York City. “When it comes to producing clean power, we’re determined to make New York the No. 1 city in the nation,” he said. How? By building wind turbines in the city’s waters, along its bridges, and atop its skyscrapers. Bloomberg imagined that the Statue of Liberty’s torch, built to welcome visitors to New York Harbor, could itself be “powered by an ocean wind farm.” It sounds kind of thrilling, no? Anyone who has seen the dramatic, expansive windmill farms in places like Southern California knows that they are a sight to behold — though it’s unclear that they’d be so stunning in, say, midtown. (The West Village, sure. It’d be so Dutch!) Of course, the Times already sees problems: “People are likely to oppose technologies that alter the appearance of their neighborhoods; wind-harnessing technology can be exceedingly expensive,” points out writer Michael Barbaro. “And Mr. Bloomberg has less than 18 months left in office to put a plan into place.”
The Daily News and the Post have already created Photoshop renderings of what this might look like, placing turbines atop the Brooklyn Bridge and Empire State Building. It’s jarring to look at, but clearly in reality landmark structures like that won’t be used for this new plan. They’ll put the windmills in out-of-the-way places, where no one can see them, as we’ve illustrated here.