New York state officials are using a 17 feet wind turbine atop 41-story Corning Tower to test wind energy idea. The turbine can produce up to 1.5 kilowatt of electricity at full capacity. The idea is to offset the tower's energy use and for that feasibility of larger urban wind-energy program will be looked into. Commissioner of the state Office of General Services John Egan and his staff are working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) on the program.

The Corning Tower pilot project may cost around $15,000.

NYSERDA workers will collect performance data from the turbine to study their working in urban environments.

This is really experimental, Egan said. It will tell us which way we should be going.

The wind turbine trial marks a step toward achieving a policy goal that Governor David Paterson has set for the state to meet 45% of its electricity needs through improved efficiency and renewable energy by 2015.

Harnessing the power of the wind in an urban setting could provide us with yet another way to expand the state’s renewable energy resources, create thousands of ‘green collar’ jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and address global climate change, said Robert Callender, NYSERDA’s vice president for programs.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg put forward a proposal to install windmills on city bridges and rooftops as part of thrust to renewable energy.

The Corning Tower turbine is almost invisible to everyone except those who venture up to the roof 588 feet above downtown Albany. It is installed amid antennas, microwave towers and other mechanical equipment, all of which is shielded from view by a tall parapet surrounding the roof.

Egan said that as of now, the state will stick to smaller turbines but will consider installing larger ones at prisons, farms and other institutions as its renewable energy plan develops.