CHELSEA, MA. BEATS CLEVELAND FNDTN'S STUEBI & RICHARD TO WIND ENERGY

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 03/27/2009 - 21:19.

Belgian Turbowinds Nv 600kw wind turbine Chelsea mass Forbes lofts .com

Chelsea, Massachusetts is a suburb just north of Boston with lots of industry, ocean shipping, fuel tank farms, housing and old mill buildings.   Chelsea is not Cambridge, Ma. Chelsea is more like Cleveland around W25 and down into the Cuyahoga Valley.
Anyway,  a few years ago I began to hear advertisements on NPR in Boston which promoted a new “green” housing development which was “powered by the wind and the sun”.  I took that ad with a grain of salt until I was flying out of Logan Airport a month ago and saw the 600Kw TurboWinds unit sticking up into the sky.  
So later I took a drive over to Chelsea to scope out the lay of the land….
Right now the ForbesLofts.com housing project is dead in (actually right next to)  the water – another casualty of the banking mess – but the wind turbine was cranking away.   I visited on a 25 mph wind day, and the rotating blades made a slight sound which could be heard a block away - at the housing location with the picket fence in the photo above.
I was impressed by the sophistication of the green “branding” which Urban Design and Development put into the radio ads, the Forbes web site, and the signage around the construction site.   However, the developer was probably more interested in having the “image” of the turbine right on the development property, rather than interested in maximum energy production – because the  location of the turbine wasn’t the best – with its foundation at sea level – and numerous little hills around the site – the turbine was definitely handicapped by the topography.   
This is just the lousy siting temptation that  the Science Center in Cleveland succumbed to – they wanted to shout “I’m an alternative energy advocate!” but placing their used Vestas in the armpit of Brown's Stadium tells us that the Science Center (and the Cleveland Foundation who funded the Vestas) were really more interested in advertising themselves as green advocates than in being green.
The solution to being sucked into paying for a wind turbine and then putting it in a location (out of ego – you want it on YOUR property) where it won’t be as productive as it could be – is a brokerage which will match investors in urban wind turbines with real estate owners who have the best locations for wind turbines.
The owners of the sites would receive a portion of the energy production profits, and the investor in the turbine machinery would maximize their return on investment by improving power production.  Win Win
This urban wind siting brokerage business doesn’t yet exist to my knowledge – who will be the first to do it?
Mr. Stuebi, Mr. Richards:  you guys have been working on wind in Cleveland for 4+ years...and I would say you have less to show for that time than the finacially capsized ForbesLofts.   A few of us even took the time to come down to the Hanna Building and make a few suggestions to Mr. Stuebi in 2006, a few months after Hull, Ma. installed its 3rd wind turbine.  What's the hold up in Cleveland?  The Ohio coal lobby?  Or Prosecutor Bill Mason and local politics?   By now all three of you are certainly firmly aware that wind on Lake Erie is out of your budget and over your/Cuyahoga's head - so if ignorance was your excuse when you grabbed the wind reins from the County four years ago, that excuse can provide no cover now. 
 
Let's just accept our failure to be the first in the world to install wind turbines in the ice of the Great Lakes, and instead put wind turbines on land next week - or in 2006 with Ride the Wind. 

 

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