Given I was headed to the public introduction of New York City’s largest wind turbine, I almost expected it to be visible from the subway station. But it was also New York City’s first commercial-scale wind turbine, so the standards for “largest” were pretty low. At 100kW, it’s dwarfed by the multi-MegaWatt monsters that are going up elsewhere in the country. But as a pioneering project, it may have performed a critical function: it helped highlight just how many things are wrong with New York City’s permitting process.
The new turbine is sited on the equally new Sunset Park recycling facility in Brooklyn (we’ll have more on the recycling facility later). To get a glimpse of it, you have to get past the Gowanus Expressway and the wall of warehouses that sit a block off the waterfront. Then, once you make your way past a federal detention center, it finally comes into view. Having seen the large industrial-scale turbines, a commercial one is decidedly less impressive. Still, it was spinning away happily on what was not an especially windy day.