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East Islip Marina wind turbine approved

A new wind turbine aimed at encouraging renewable energy initiatives and helping students understand more about green technologies will be installed at East Islip Marina after Islip officials gave it the green light.

The Town Board voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a contract with Retlif Testing Laboratories, a Ronkonkoma-based company that will install the 40-by-80-foot turbine for study in conjunction with students from the New York Institute of Technology, which has a campus in Central Islip.

Retlif is installing the turbine at no cost to the town and will conduct tests for 12 to 18 months, company president Walter Poggi said. The installation should be completed by early spring, he said.

"We're excited. I think it's an opportunity, not just to provide an educational venue for NYIT students to get more familiar with wind technology, but also for us," he said. "It will be a valuable test site to see how a turbine performs here on Long Island."

Poggi said the company would try to duplicate a residential installation so homeowners could get a sense of how the technology performs.

"Most national [wind energy] standards don't address individual environments," Poggi said. Whether an installation is on the coast or mid-island, there are likely to be all sorts of environmental factors specific to Long Island, he added. "Obviously, we have more of a saltwater environment than if you're installing in Arizona so there likely will be corrosion issues and other effects we can learn about."

Energy from the turbine will power parts of the Islip Harbor police headquarters.

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