All this wind (plus a post about alternative energy sources by Helen Thomas on JavaRanch) has reminded me of the Long Island Offshore Wind Initiative that has been in planning for a couple of years. The plan is to build windmills about five miles offshore where the wind blows almost constantly. If all the windmills that are planned are built, the windmills would provide 5,200 megawatts of power and supply 77% of Long Island's power needs. We would have cheap, pollution free power and eliminate most of our need on foreign imports. If we used Canadian hydroelectric or solar power for our remaining needs, we could eliminate virtually all polluting energy sources for Long Island's power.
Of course, a proposal like this doesn't come without critics. The main criticism seems to be aesthetics. The windmills will be visible on a clear day from our beautiful beaches. Some people have complained that they will be an ugly eyesore against our previously pristine views. Here is a simulated picture of the windmills. I wonder if the builders of windmills in Holland received the same complaints from those who didn't want to ruin the views of tulip fields. There is also the question of cost and cost effectiveness. To determine the practicality of windmills on Long Island, a small wind farm of between 25 and 50 windmills will be built. They will produce about 100 megawatts of power, enough power for 100,000 homes. It is estimated that the wind farm would be complete by the end of 2007.