Some ledes can't be improved upon, so we have to hand it to the Post for this one: "In a grab for even more 'power,' Mayor Bloomberg is about to harness the sun, the wind and East River tide." But unlike his mayoral rival Montgomery Burns, Bloomberg intends to use the power of the sun for good...or so his Parks Department henchman says. Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe has revealed that the city is moving forward with plans to create an alternative-energy "theme park" on Wards Island, which would include 800 square feet of solar panels, a 140-foot-high wind turbine, and four 100-kilowatt tidal turbines to generate enough electricity to power 100 homes.
"We hope it can demonstrate this is a cost-effective way to capture the free energy of wind, sun and tides—and a great way to reduce our carbon footprint and our dependence on oil and gas," Benepe tells the tabloid. The "Renewable Energy Park" will also feature a green energy community center where, according to Bloomberg, "people can see all the plans and learn how the various technologies work." The project, expected to be fully operational in two years, will be funded by a $990,000 grant from the US Department of Energy and $1.4 million from the city.
Based on some estimates, the East River currents could be harnessed to provide between 3 and 5 percent of New York's power needs, and Wards and Randalls islands are considered ideal spots to test it because the currents through Hell Gate are notoriously turbulent. So turbulent, in fact, that Benepe says, "It's unclear to us if the devices can stand up to the currents of Hell Gate. Some experimental work was done and they did not."