Lackawanna Windmills Go National
The eight Lackawanna windmills that have had locals talking for months are heading to the national stage. NBC Nightly News will be reporting on the windmills that have sprouted along the Lake Erie shoreline Monday night. The story is part of a week long series on green energy and the environment. NBC is promoting the feature: How one steel town is going green.
The Associated Press lays the groundwork:
Wind turbines tower over old smokestacks
An "urban" wind farm has sprouted along a stretch of Lake Erie too polluted for much else.
Eight towering turbines slowly spin near old smokestacks and other industrial remnants on a waterfront site where Bethlehem Steel once stood tall with 25,000 employees.
"It's quite a contrast," said Norman Polanski, mayor of this city south of Buffalo, "the old rusting away while the new rises above it."
The rise of the $40 million project has been a lesson, too, for residents of this Rust Belt city who have lamented the lack of activity on the waterfront since the steel plant began its decline 30 years ago. Today, the steel business employs only about 268 people, at a finishing mill operated by Mittal Steel. Mittal acquired the operation in a merger after Bethlehem Steel sold its assets in bankruptcy to International Steel Group in 2003.
Residents now see that new development is possible, Polanski said.
"Change is in the air," he said. "You can see it and you can feel it and the confidence level for the people is up there. It has changed the attitude of people here."