The state-of-the-art wind turbines now spinning atop the South Harbor Garage have city residents gazing upward in amazement and Mayor Kimberley Driscoll applauding another green energy project.
The combination solar and wind turbines were officially unveiled Monday morning during a press conference at the Salem Waterfront Hotel that was aimed at better-explaining exactly how they work and what will harness the power they generate.
Speaking at the event were Driscoll, Wing Power Energy CEO Harry Ruda and Verizon Wireless' Associate Director of Innovation Centers, Gagan Puranik - all of whom worked together to see the project through.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the green community that we know Salem is and certainly the one that it wants to be," Driscoll said.
In addition to providing free Wi-Fi, several new surveillance cameras, and a 24/7 street-level community message board, Driscoll said the turbines, which aren't taking up any parking spaces, send the right message to city residents.
"I think symbolically they send the right message about what our hopes are for the future in terms of how we collect energy and how we use it," Driscoll said.
Puranik stressed that unlike the larger offshore wind turbines, these spin vertically, are completely silent and have been specifically designed to blend into an urban environment.
Although the turbines are currently unprotected from vehicles navigating the roof of the Congress Street parking lot, Puranik said the plan is to install protective bollards around them in the near future.
Have you seen the new turbines while driving downtown? What do you think of them? Let us know in the comments section below.