Clarkson professor creates design well-suited for the Adirondacks

By Chloe Bennett

The thought of wind power likely conjures an image of a towering white turbine catching a breeze in an open field or hilltop, often among dozens of others like it. Generating wind energy advances New York State’s plan away from fossil fuels, currently making up 3.7% of the state’s electricity grid mix.

Developing renewable energy infrastructure in the Adirondack Park, including battery storage, solar panels and wind turbines, usually come with a thorough approval process by the government arms including the Adirondack Park Agency. A regulation last updated in 2002, for example, prohibits structures over 40 feet in the Blue Line, keeping standard wind turbines that can reach several hundred feet from the protected land.

But what if wind energy could be harnessed in the park through a smaller wind turbine? That is a question Clarkson University began answering 20 years ago with the help of Ken Visser, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor at the college. Now, his designs are appearing in the Adirondacks.

As of May 2023, two of his turbines have been installed in the park. Asgaard Farm & Dairy in AuSable Forks received one in 2020, followed by Wild Orchard Farm in Essex in 2022. Next on the docket is the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, which hopes to erect a turbine by the fall.

Read the full article in the Adirondack Explorer.

Photo by Rick Godin, The Wild Center.