Ribbon cut on New York City’s first commercial-scale wind turbine in Sunset

Positive change is in the wind in Brooklyn.

The Brooklyn waterfront at the Sunset Park Material Recovery Facility on the 30th Street Pier is the new home to New York City’s first commercial scale wind turbine. The windmill, which stands at nearly 160 feet tall, was officially unveiled during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, January 14.

“This came from a couple of years of planning and then a few years of permitting,” said General Manager of Sims Municipal Recycling Tom Outerbridge. “It came from the general idea that we had that this facility was very special and it should showcase as many sustainable, environmentally-sound features and technologies as possible. Hopefully, the community considers it a good contribution to the Brooklyn waterfront. It’s another positive distinguishing factor for Brooklyn.”

Sims commissioned the wind turbine, while Northern Power Systems Corp manufactured it and Aegis Renewable Energy installed it.

“What I think it means is that there’s hope for future of renewables in New York City,” said CEO of Aegis Nils Behn. “Now that Sims has pioneered the permitting process for renewables, in particular, wind, it’s going to make it a lot easier for this to happen in other locations here. Soon the footprint of New York City is going to have more wind renewable energy than it’s ever had.”

Borough President Eric Adams was also enthusiastic about what the turbine means for the entire city, contending that it “shows the possibilities of what we could do.

“Cleaning our environment must be more than just conversation. It must be a method in which we can look at some of these great examples like this turbine,” he said. “It’s something that takes up so little space behind us but can do such a big thing for our environment. This is an important initiative. Not only has it hit the shores of Brooklyn, but, I think, the entire city.”

“It’s especially fantastic that it’s kind of showing the way of what we can do with the Brooklyn waterfront,” said Executive Director of The Architectural League, Rosalie Genevro. “It makes sense. There’s a lot of wind at the Brooklyn waterfront. Let’s take advantage of it.”

“(The location) made all kinds of sense,” added Behn. “The prevailing winds are from the west right off the water so the wind funnels right down Gowanus Bay. It’s a great location.”

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