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The installation of an 1.25 MW vertical-shaft wind turbine (VSWT) at Sullivan County Community College, in Loch Sheldrake, N.Y., moved a step closer to fruition with the final approval being given by the town of Fallsburg Planning Board to the application from Environmental Technologies LLC (ETLLC) and its engineering firm, Clough Harbour & Associates.

The VSWT design is based on nearly 19 years of development and research by ETLLC and its engineer, including early experimental models erected in Taiwan and eastern Pennsylvania. The new VSWT is one-third the height of traditional wind turbines, yet produces twice the output, making it more efficient than current wind turbine designs.

Moreover, the ETLLC wind turbine is relatively quiet, at a projected 65 decibels at a distance of 120 feet, a noise level that is about as loud as a normal conversation.

According to ETLLC, the turbine also doesn't harm birds and bats because of its slow rotor rotation and makes no motion smear, a major reason for bird deaths from traditional wind turbines.

With the final approvals in place, ETLLC plans to start the installation by the middle of March and expects to have the world's first grid-scale VSWT in operation by May.

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