Dan Hust | Democrat
UTILIZING A PILE of dirt put there just for the occasion, officials “broke ground” on Wednesday at SCCC for the first-of-its-kind vertical windmill. From the left are Project Manager James Carrigan Jr., SCCC Board Chair Phyllis Coombe, County Legislature Chair Jonathan Rouis (hidden), Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, SUNY Vice Chancellor Dennis Golladay (hidden), ETC CEO Sam Ikeda, SCCC President Mamie Howard Golladay, Ikeda’s wife Tomoko, Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s representative Chris White, and Partnership for Economic Development President Tim McCausland.
A 'revolutionary' development
By Dan Hust
LOCH SHELDRAKE History was made in the nation on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Sullivan County followed suit.
Ground was officially broken for the first-of-its-kind vertical shaft wind turbine on the campus of Sullivan County Community College in Loch Sheldrake.
With electric cars quietly shuttling guests to a tent filled to capacity, local officials touted the creation of a windmill that they hope will attract major attention to the area and kickstart a green technology park.
“The construction of the world’s first vertical turbine… puts Sullivan County on the cutting edge,” remarked Legislature Chair Jonathan Rouis.
SCCC President Mamie Howard Golladay noted that windmills used to exist all over the Hudson Valley.
“So today, what is new is old, in a sense,” she said.
Her husband, SUNY Vice Chancellor Dennis Golladay, was one of several state-level speakers to join the festivities.
“With you, I wait in eager anticipation as plans for the green technology park unfold,” he stated.
Even Governor David Paterson, via Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, sent words of praise.
“This new wind turbine is a tremendous asset to both the college and our state,” he wrote.
Construction has already begun, with concrete being poured this week into an 80'x80' site near the Liberty entrance to the campus.
When completed in January (weather-permitting), the 111-foot structure will capture the plentiful wind from all directions and convert it to electricity for use by the college and the windmill’s owner, Environmental Technologies (ETC), which has already prefabricated the components in Taiwan.
ETC CEO Osamu “Sam” Ikeda’s hope is that this prototype 20 years in the making will realize efficiencies more than two times greater than traditional windmills.
SCCC’s hope is that it will complement the college’s effort to not only go green (its heating and ventilation system is already geothermal-based, and a green building curriculum is being offered) but to attract investment from companies in a planned green tech park on the other side of the campus.
And in the process, it just may stamp Sullivan County into a national consciousness increasingly focused on sustainable practices.
“Sullivan County has really begun to distinguish itself,” observed Congressman Maurice Hinchey’s spokesperson, Chris White, “as a leader in green technology and alternative energy.”