The Thruway Authority announced Friday (1/8/10) it will seek proposals from the wind turbine industry to assess the feasibility of constructing “medium-sized” windmills at six Thruway sites in Western New York.
The idea is to determine if the authority could generate power from the machines to sustain many of its own operations and possibly sell excess power back to the grid, spokeswoman Betsy Graham said.
“We think this goes a long way to offset our utility costs, and in turn, protect and enhance the environment,” she said.
The interchanges under study for turbines are Batavia, Eden-Angola, Silver Creek, Dunkirk, Westfield and Ripley.
Graham said the proposed turbines are not as big as those n the Bethlehem Steel site and will be appropriately sized for the Thruway properties at the exits. She said the studies will also determine if wind velocity at the six sites is strong enough to sustain the proposed turbines. It is expected the authority will make a final decision on the idea this summer, Graham added.
“The Thruway Authority is eager to hear from the wind power development industry as to how it can work towards a more sustainable environment and making New York a greener state, benefiting all New Yorkers,” said Thruway Executive Director Michael R. Fleischer.
The plan is also part of Gov. David A. Paterson’s objective of meeting 45 percent of the state’s electricity needs through energy efficiency and renewable energy.
“Last month, I accepted the State Energy Plan which provides a detailed road map for achieving this clean energy target, and one of the recommendations is to inventory state-owned land that is suitable for renewable energy development,” Paterson said. “I commend the Thruway Authority for acting so swiftly to help us implement this piece of the State Energy Plan.”