Proponents of wind power say: In my backyard!

NORTH RIVER After purchasing her Harvey Road home seven years ago, Julie West discovered she had a hidden problem, completely unrelated to her 19th century farmhouse. The issue was an incessant wind that passed through the east-west valley where the home was built. The wind is unbelievable here, especially in the winter, West said. After a while I started thinking of what to do about it, and thats when I got the idea. West decided to turn a negative into a positive by installing a home wind generator to harness the energy whipping past her home. Her approach is similar to a projet currently proposed by Barton Mines. Its funny, I had thought of this before Id heard of the Barton project, West added. In my effort to be green, I thought I could make good use of the wind. After learning about the [NYSERDA] incentive program, it seemed like a smart thing to do. The NYSERDA program offers 50 percent in matching funds toward the purchase and installation of solar or wind-powered home energy equipment. The promise of financial assistance was all West needed to make her decision, and she started the arduous process of applying for an Adirondack Park Agency [APA] Wind Tower permit. West received an APA permit to construct the wind tower in the summer of 2006, becoming the first residential permit recipient in the Adirondack Park since the Wind Generator Tower policy was implemented. My original goal was to put up a wind turbine, West said. Which I received an APA permit for, a year and a half ago. It was shortly after getting the permit that I found out that NYSERDA decided I didnt have enough wind according to the computer models they use. Discouraged and frustrated, West put the project on hold for a year while determining her next steps. Finally, in an effort to dispute the NYSERDA computer model, West decided to find out for herself if she met the requirements, with the intent of proving NYSERDA wrong. I honestly do not know what the results will be, but I do know that I have a lot of wind here, West added. To test the wind, she recently contracted with Four Winds Renewable Energy of Arkport, New York, to install a wind-measuring tower on her property. The meteorological, or Met tower, is similar to devices currently in use by the neighboring Adirondack Wind Energy Park. West will monitor the wind on her property for one year, hoping to establish her property's viability as a small-scale wind energy site. For now, West is paying for the project herself. But she intends to secure grant funding as the project moves forward. She also hopes to show others what can be accomplished with some hard work and determination. Id like this to be an educational tool for everyone, West concluded. People can do what theyd like, but Id like to make everyone aware of the need for alternative energy. I know that residential wind power isnt the answer for everyone, but I have some wind here, and Im hoping to use it.

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