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San Diego Gas & Electric has installed a vertical axis wind turbine for testing at Harbor Island Park, the Port of San Diego reported yesterday.

The device, about eight feet in diameter and mounted on top of a 30 foot tall pole, takes up about 450 square feet of space at the park and should be operational by January. When activated, it’s expected to produce about two kilowatts of power when operating at peak potential, and will power a nearby sewage pump station for the City of San Diego. When operating, the device produces about five decibels of noise, less than a whisper.

The project is jointly funded by SDG&E and Nakao International Consulting & Enterprises, and the Port will also be a research partner. The test turbine, manufactured by the Japanese firm Enepro, will remain in place for approximately one year.

“Harbor Island Park was chosen due to the regularity at which winds from the San Diego Harbor blow through there, and its visibility to the public to solicit feedback on the turbine,” said Jenner Smith, the Port’s real estate asset manager, in a press release. Methods for gathering that feedback will be developed in the coming months.

Numerous turbines of similar design have already been installed with success in Japan, according to Nakao. A significant finding is less harm to local bird populations as compared to current designs that mount propellers horizontally to harvest wind energy, a problem that has angered environmentalists normally predisposed to support green energy technology.

The Port’s participation is an extension of its Green Port Program, begun in 2008 to enhance environmental standards. Since the program’s inception, more than $4.2 million in grant funds have been used to lessen the Port’s environmental footprint.

(stock photo)

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tomjohnston Dec. 23, 2011 @ 3:43 p.m.

Vertical axis wind turbines are nothing new. So what makes this one so special? What exactly is new in it's design. Should have included a pic with the story.


SurfPuppy619 Dec. 23, 2011 @ 9:21 p.m.

Just what is needed, an ugly wind turbine to destroy the beauty of Harbor island.................


JustWondering Dec. 24, 2011 @ 7:52 a.m.

You didn't see a photo because this monstrosity is, well... really ugly. "The vertical-axis turbine is approximately eight feet in diameter and is housed atop a 30-foot-tall base." It sticks out like sore thumb. It's huge! With no attempt to camouflage it. Here's a link that includes a photo of it being installed. YIKES!!!



SurfPuppy619 Dec. 24, 2011 @ 3:32 p.m.


This is so awful, it is hidious looking, Who the hell from the City gave this eye sore a green light???? It should NEVER have been allowed to be unstalled.

It was bad enough when the City alowed the the “Pearl of the Pacific” art work to wreck the beautiful vista at the end of Shelter Island, but at least it was ART-this is just a disaster.


Founder Dec. 24, 2011 @ 10:50 a.m.

Japanese Breakthrough in Wind Turbine Design - Energy Digital http://is.gd/MceGpE

It looks like a giant Peace sign!


tomjohnston Dec. 24, 2011 @ 11:24 a.m.

"It looks like a giant Peace sign!" HUH? Looks nothing like a giant peace sigh. Looks more like a giant bicycle tyre to me. This is a giant peace sign:



Founder Dec. 24, 2011 @ 10:54 a.m.

Dave Rice Please get the Reader to put a picture of the CORRECT wind turbine on this BLOG!

Even a screen shot of the one listed would do!


MiriamRaftery Jan. 1, 2012 @ 10:34 a.m.

The actual photo is here: http://www.portofsandiego.org/images/stories/Environment/greenport/news/turbine.png

The vertical axis turbines are much better options to the monster wind farms being proposed in East County, which would be 500 to 600 feet tall with wingspans the size of a major jetliner. By contrast, these vertical axis turbines are just 30 feet tall. The giant wind turbines are slaughtering eagles and other birds of prey - one wind farm at Altamont in northern CA has killed thousands of eagles, which are supposed to be federally protected species. Why aren't the operators prosecuted? I'm all for clean energy but not if it massacres wildlife, so the vertical axis turbines seem like a better way to go. The big turbines also have human health effects and ruin views in our wilderness areas on federal forest lands. Better for each community to accept a few of these vertical turbines, and have incentives for companies and local governments to produce more of their own power with vertical axis turbines or better yet, solar on rooftops and atop parking/shade covers.


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