NYS Tests Wind Energy Atop Albany Skyscraper

New York state officials are using a small wind turbine atop Albany's tallest building to test a big renewable-energy idea.

The turbine stands 17 feet above the roof of the 41-story Corning Tower. Its seven-foot diameter blades produce less than one-tenth of a percent of the electricity that the building uses, but the turbine, which resembles a large pinwheel, is really being used to test the feasibility of larger urban wind-energy programs.

Officials want performance data from the so-called "micro-turbine" to study how they work in urban environments.

It's a small step toward Governor David Paterson's goal for the state to get 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved efficiency and renewable energy by 2015.