Wind power in cities

I had the privilege of driving through Cleveland, Ohio on the way to and from Michigan over the weekend, and observed three wind turbines sited in Cleveland or one of its suburbs. Since Cleveland sits right on Lake Erie, and the wind is constantly blowing, using the wind to generate power makes perfect sense for this location. I had actually seen these turbines during a previous trip, and noted how well they fit into an urban environment.

One normally thinks, at least in New England, that these machines need to sit on top of a peak or along a ridge line to make consistent power. I am wondering if there are other locations that we are not considering that might make sense in the long run. Or perhaps other technology that could be used to make power without causing damage to the environment. While visiting a customer today, he noted that mooring a floating platform fitted with an undershot water wheel on the large river that flowed past his house could generate a LOT of power, without causing any harm to the river or ecosystem.

Perhaps we need to reconsider some of our priorities.